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The  mar  \^^  ,    ,.  ^   -^  w     -s^y^f  *  ^^  '  Ancient 

Classics  i  '"^'I^^^Ol'^    '^•f^^  enty  Volumes, 

lias  been  t  ^^^iMgg^^  '^  ^^®  friendly 

critics  of  t  ing  been  made 


This  has  lentary  Series,' 

intended  to  comprise  xire"m7nKir-«7v^5i7.x.«  »«..   ^ Greek  autliors 

which,  for  various  reasons,  were  not  included  in  the  original  plan. 

This  Series  will  appear,  like  the  preceding,  in  quarterly  volumes,  at 
half-a-crown  each,  and  in  the  same  size  and  type.  It  will  not  be  extended 
beyond  eight  or  ten  such  volumes.  These  will  include  the  works  of  Aius- 
TOTLK,  Thucydides,  Demosthenes,  Livy,  Luckktjus,  Ovid,  Catullus 
(with  TiBULLUS  and  Propertius),  Anacr£on,  Pindar,  &c.  The  First 
Volume  will  be  published  in  February. 


Homer  :  The  Iliad.    By  the  Editor. 
Homer  :  The  Odyssey.    By  the  Editor. 
Herodotus.     By   George    C.    Swayiic, 

Xenophon.     By  Sir  Alexander  Grant, 

Euripides.    By  W.  B.  Donne. 
Aristophanes.    By  the  Editor. 
Plato.     By  Clifton  W.  Collins,  M.A. 
LuciAN.     By  tlie  Editor. 
iEscHYLUS.    By  Reginald  S.  Copleston, 

Sophocles.     By    Clifton    W.    Collins, 


Hesiod  and  Theogni:-     By  the  Rev  J 

Davis,  M.A 
Greek  Anthology.     By  Lord  Neavea. 
Virgil.    By  the  Editor. 
Horace.     By  Theodore  Martin. 
Juvenal.    By  Edward  Walford,  M.A. 
Plautus  and  Terence.    By  the  Eklitor. 
The    Commentaries   of    C.*:sab.     By 

Anthony  Trollo])e. 
Tacitus.    By  W.  B.  Donne. 
Cicero.    By  tlie  Editor. 
Pliny's  IjEtters.    By  the  Rev.  Alfred 

Church,   MA.,  and  the  Rev.   W.   J. 

Brodribb,  M.  A. 

Each  Volume  may  be  had  separately,  price  2s.  6d.  in  cloth  ;  or  the  whole 
Series,  bound  in  10  Vols.,  vellum  backs,  for  £2,  10s. 

WILLIAM-  BLACKWOOD  &  Sons,  Edinburgh  and  London. 


I.  CONSTANTIA:  a  Novel.    By  the  Author  of '  One  Only.'   2  vols. 

crowu  8vo,  21s. 

"  Constantia  Luttrell  is  a  very  charming  heroine  and  a  very  charming  woman,  and  her  story 
is  told  pleasantly  and  well.  .  .  .  The  other  characters  of  the  book  are  also  good,  the  style  is 
excellent,  and  the  construction  artistic.  .  .  .  Quiet  and  subdued  humour."— <S<andar(i. 

"  Constantia  is  one  of  the  pleasantest  tales  we  have  met  with  for  some  time  past.  .  .  .  The 
author  has  produced  a  most  charming  heroine." — Court  Journal. 

"A  novelette  of  exceptional  interest." — Academi/. 

n.  THE  FOOL  OF  THE  FAMILY,  and  other  Tales.    By  John 

DANGERFIELD,  Author  of '  Grace  Tolmar.'    2  vols,  crown  8vo,  21s. 
The  Titles  of  the  Tales  are  — The  Fool  op  the  Family;    Bekchwood  Rkvkl  ;   Miss 
Olivia  Tempest  ;  Splendide  Mkndax;  Giulio  Vescona  ;  A  Tragedy  Qukkn. 
,  See  Splbndide  Mendax  in  the  above  book. 

III.  THIS  INDENTURE  WITNESSETH.     By  Mrs  Alfred  Hunt, 

Author  of '  Under  Seal  of  Confession,'  &c.     3  vols,  crown  8vo,  31s.  6d. 

"  The  author  tells  an  interesting  story  easily  and  naturally  ;  the  interest  gains  steadily  on 
us,  aud,  what  is  seldom  the  case  in  a  third  volume,  we  have  ample  fulfilment  of  the  promise 
of  the  beginning.     Some  of  the  situations  are  strongly  dramatic." — 'Times. 

"  The  novel  deserves  high  praise  for  its  spotless  purity,  its  sound  sense,  and  the  vigour  and 
originality  of  many  of  its  conceptions. "—£ri(t,s/i  Quarterly  Review. 

"  Mrs  Hunt  writes  extremely  well,  and  often  forcibly.  .  .  .  We  are  glad,  on  the  whole,  to 
commend  this  novel  almost  unreservedly." — The  Spectator. 

"  The  tale  is  in  every  respect,  save  its  title,  one  of  unusual  excellence.  .  .  .  Never  prosy  or 
monotonous.  .  ,  .  We  may  pronounce  the  novel  thoroughly  satisfactory,  and  worth  reading."— 

ZSTE^W^     BOOiCS     OIF     TEy-A."V^EXj. 

Now  ready. 

FROM    THE    HEBRIDES    TO    THE    HIMALAYAS;    Eighteen 

Months'  Wanderings  in  Western  Isles  and  Eastern  Highlands.  By  Miss  CONSTANCE  F. 
GORDON  GUMMING.  With  very  numerous  Full-Page  and  other  Woodcut  Illustrations, 
from  the  Author's  own  Drawings.     2  vols,  medium  8vo,  cloth  extra,  £2,  23.  [This  day. 

MOROCCO  AND  THE  MOORS ;  being  an  Account  of  Travels,  with 

a  General  Description  of  the  Country  and  its  People.  By  ARTHUR  LEAKED,  M.D. 
With  Illustrations  and  Map,  8vo,  cloth  extra,  price  18s.  [Now  ready. 

TRAVELS  IN  MONGOLIA.    By  N.  M.  Prejevalsky,  Lieut.-Colonel 

Russian  Staff.  Translated  by  E.  DELMAR  MORGAN,  F.R.G.S  ,  aud  Annotated  by 
Colonel  YULE,  C.B.    2  vols,  demy  Svo,  cloth  extra,  numerous  Illustrations  aud  Maps. 

[Nearly  ready. 

"  The  only  really  remarkable  account  of  travel  is  Prejevalsky'a  '  Mongolia  and  the  Country 

of  the  Tanguts,'  a  relation  of  his  notable  journey  to  the  edge  of  Thibet,  which,  it  is  announced, 

will  appear  in  an  English  translation."— i^rom  Review  of  *  Russian  Literature'  in  the 

Athenoium  of  Dec.  25. 


MOHR.  Translated  by  N.  D'Axvers.  Numerous  Full-Page  and  other  Woodcut  Illus- 
trations, 4  Chromo-lithographs,  and  a  Map.    1  vol.  demy  Svo,  cloth  extra.    [In  a  few  days. 

SPAIN.     Illustrated  by  Gustave  Dore.     Text  by  the  Baron  Ch. 

D'AVILLIEll.  This  fine  Work  contains  over  240  Wood  Engravings,  half  of  them  being 
Full-Page  size.  All  after  Drawings  by  the  celebrated  Artist.  Imperial  4to,  elaborately 
bound  in  cloth,  gilt  extra,  gilt  edges,  price  £3,  3s.  [Now  ready. 

TURKISTAN,    Notes  of  a  Jonrney  in  the  Russian  Provinces  of 

Central  Asia,  and  the  Khanates  of  Bokhara  and  Kokand.  By  E.  SCHUYLER.  Demy 
Svo,  numerous  Illustrations,  cloth  extra.  [Shortly. 


CiiOWN  Buildings,  188  Fleet  Street,  E.G. 





AT  THE  SIGN  OF  THE  SILVER  FLAGON.      By  B.  L.  Far- 

JEON,  Author  of  '  An  Island  Pearl,'  '  Blade-o'-Grass,'  '  Golden  Grain,'   '  Bread-and- 
Cheese  and  Kisses,' '  Grif,'  '  Joshua  Marvel,'  and  'Jessie  Trim.' 

THE  OLD  TUNE.    By  H.  T.  Craven,  I  SLIPPERY  GROUND.  By  Lewis  Wing- 

author  of  Milky  White,' &c.     3  vols.  |      field.     3  vols. 

VERTS.      By  the  Rev.   0.  Maurice  Davies,   D.D.,   Author  of 

*  Orthodox,'  '  Unorthodox,'  '  Heterodox,'  *  Mystic,'  and  '  Broad  Church  London.'     2  vols. 

HIDDEN   CHAINS.      By  Miss  Florence  Marryat,   Author  of 

'Fighting  the  Air,'   'Love's  Conflict,'    '  Prey  of  the  Gods,'    'Her  Lord  and  Master,' 
'  Woman  against  Woman,'  &c.     3  vols. 

IS  HE  THE  MAN?     By  the  Author  of  'Jilted,'  'John  Holds- 

worth,  Chief  Mate,'  &c.     3  vols. 

FATED  to  be  FREE.  By  Jean  Ingelow. 
Author  of  'Off  the  Skelligs,'  &c.  Second 
Edition.    3  vols.  [Now  ready. 

"  Its  stj'le  is  fresh  and  bright,  and  sparkles 
with  the  oxygen  drawn  from  a  pure  and  brac- 
ing atmosphere.  Miss  Ingelow  is  a  poet  as 
well  as  a  novelist — a  rare  but  not  impossible 
union  ;  and  the  happy  admixture  of  the  two 
qualities  makes  the  book  one  to  be  especially 
valued. " — Times. 

WITH  HARP  and  CROWN.     By  the 

Authors  of  '  Ready  Money  Mortiboy,'  '  My 

Little  Girl,'  &c.     3  vols. 

"  Merits  more  than  the  most  brilliant  eph- 
emeral success  —  namely,  a  permanent  and 
honourable  place  in  the  classical  literature  of 
the  country. " — Examiner. 

"  We  can  recommend  it  with  confidence." — 

"  The  interest  of  the  story  is  absorbing."— 

ABOVE  SUSPICION.    By  Mrs  J.  H.  Riddell,  Author  of  '  George 

Geith,' '  Too  Much  Alone,'  '  Home,  Sweet  Home,'  '  City  and  Suburb,'  &c.     3  vols. 


By  M.  L.  J,    3  vols. 

"  It  is  a  remarkably  good  tale,  remarkable 
for  the  excellent  tone  which  pervades  it." — 
Court  Journal. 

"  We  thank  M.  L.  J.  for  telling  us  so  much 
of  bis  Phebe's  life  in  the  homely  dales  of  Cum- 
berland."— Illustrated  London  News. 

By  Rosa  Nouchette  Carey,  Author 

Barbara  Heathcote's  Trial,' &c.     2  vols. 
There  is  plenty  of  romance,  but  it  would  not  be  fair  to  tell  our  readers  wherein  that  romance 
consists,  or  how  it  ends ;  let  them  read  the  book  for  themselves.    We  will  undertake  to  promise 
they  will  like  it."— Standard. 

SHORE).  By  W.  Harrison  Ainsworth, 
Author  of  •  Rookwood,'  '  Boscobel,'  '  Old 
St  Paul's,'  *  The  Tower  of  London,'  &c.  3 

"  I  met  her  as  returning 
In  solemn  penance  from  the  public  cross. 
Submissive,  sad,  and  lowly  was  her  look  " 

CROSS  LIGHTS;  or,  Major  Crosbie's  Vow.  By  Adam  Carter.  3  v. 

LISSADEL ;  or,  in  Stony  Places :  a 
Story.     By  Mrs  Jvlws  Pollock.     3  vols. 

"The  characters  are  well  contrasted,  and 

Mrs  Fleming's  New  Novel. 

A  MAD  MARRIAGE.    By  Mrs  M.  A. 

Fleming,   Author  of  'A  Terrible  Secret,' 
&c.    3  vols. 

"  Mrs  Fleming's  sensational  title  will  not 
disappoint  those  who  have  a  taste  for  won- 
ders. "—A  thenceum. 


of  *  Nellie's  Memories,' '  Wee  Wifie, 

New  Novel  by  James  Payn. 
HALVES.    By  James  Payn,  Author  of 

'Lost  Sir   Massingberd,'   'Walter's  Word,' 

'Murphy's  Master,'  'Found  Dead,' &c.     3 


"Seldom,  if f  ever,  was  so  much  of  nature, 
grace,  pathos,  and  humour  collected  within 
the  spa.ce."— Pall  Mall  Gazette. 


Owens  Blackbdrne  and  A.  A.  Clemes. 
3  vols. 

"  The  authors  show  unmistakable  evidences 
of  power.  "Standard. 

interest  is  ably  sustained."— Ct^y  Press. 

TINSLEY  BROTHERS,  8  Castle  Street,  London. 


1^1    ALL     LIBRARIES. 

IDA  CRAVEN:  a  Novel  of  Anglo-Indian  Society.    By 

Mes  H.  M.  CADEL.    3  vols,  crown  8vo, 

DANTE  and  BEATRICE,  from  1282  to  1290:  a  Romance. 

By  ROXBURGHE  LOTHIAN.     2  vols.,  24s. 
"  Great  qualities  were  required  on  the  part  of  any  writer  who  attempted  to  illus- 
trate and  interpret  so  delicate  and  so  difficult  a  subject,  and  we  find  noue  want- 
ing in  Mr  Lothian." — ^otes  and  Queries. 

THROSTLETHWAITE.      By    Susan    Morley,   Author    of 

*  Aileen  Ferrers.'     3  vols. 
"  Miss  Morley's  strong  point  lies  in  the  telling  of  her  story,  and  this  she  has  done 
extremely  well,  in  pure  and  simple  English." — Morning  Post. 

"  There  is  a  great  deal  to  recommend  in  this  novel." —  Vanity  Fair. 

ST  GEORGE  and  ST  MICHAEL.    By  George  Macdonald. 

3  vols. 
"  Notably  the  account  of  the  old  marquis's  death,  and  the  exquisitely  written 
meditations  which  end  the  third  volume,  form  a  meritorioxis  finish  to  a  most  able 
work  of  fiction. " — Hour. 

CLEVEDEN.     By  Stephen  Yorke,  Author  of  '  Tales  of  the 

North  Riding.'    2  vols. 
"  Simple,  natural,  interesting." — Notes  and  Queries, 

A  SCOTCH  WOOING.     By  J.  C.  Ayrton.     2  vols. 

"Bright  and  pleasant," — Academy. 

"  This  is  essentially  a  novel  of  character." — Athenceum. 

"Pleasantly,  vigorously,  and  healthily  written." — Idteraiy  World. 

CULMSHIRE  FOLK  :    a  Novel.     By  Ignotus.     New  and 

Cheaper  Edition,  1  vol.  crown  8vo,  68. 
"  Charming  throughout.  .  .  .  Never  fails  to  be  amusing." — Spectator. 
"It  contains  a  good  deal  of  thoughtful  writing,  and  one  remarkable  study  of 
character. '' — A  thenceum. 

"  Sprightly  and  animated.  .  .  .  Cleverly  written." — Morning  Post. 

HENRY  S.  KING  &  CO.,  London. 


DALDY,    ISBISTER,    &   CO. 



his  Brother,  the  Key.  DONALD  MACLEOD,  one  of  her  Majesty's  Chaplains. 
With  Portraits  and  numerous  Illustrations.     2  vols,  demy  8vo. 


2  vols,  demy  8vo. 


ITALY.  In  Three  Vols.  By  AUGUSTUS  J.  C.  HARE,  Author  of  '  Walks 
in  Rome,'  &c.     With  over  100  Illustrations.     3  vols,  crown  8vo. 

*:^*  Intended  as  a  Companion  to  all  those  parts  of  Italy  which  lie  between  the 
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By  H.  TAINE,  D.C.L.  Oxon,  &c..  Author  of  'History  of  English  Literature,' 
'Notes  on  England,'  &c. 



J,  C.  HARE,  With  57  Photographs,  illustrating  by  Portraits  and  Views  the 
previous  Volumes.     Crown  Svo. 

NATURE'S    TEACHING.     As   applied    in    the 

Wonders  of  Art  and  Manufacture.  By  the  Rev,  J.  G.  WOOD,  M.A,,  Author 
of  '  Homes  without  Hands,'  '  Man  and  Beast,  Here  and  Hereafter,'  &c.  With 
numerous  Illustrations.     Demy  8vo. 

GEOLOGY  for  Students  and  General  Readers, 

embodying  the  most  Recent  Theories  and  Discoveries.  By  A.  H.  GREEN, 
M.A.,  Professor  of  Geology  and  Mining  in  the  Yorkshire  College  of  Science. 

Part  I.— The  Elements  of  Physical  Geology,  with  upwards  of  100  Illus- 
trations by  the  Author.     Crown  Svo. 


of  Rome  in  the  Days  of  St  Jerome.  By  the  Author  of  '  The  Schonberg-Cotta 
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56   LUDGATE  HILL,   L0:N'D0K 










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THE  gPAinSH  GYPSY.     By  George  EHot.     Piftli  Edition,  crown  8vo, 

7s.  6d. 

THE   LEGEND  OP    JUBAL  AM)    OTHEE   POEMS.      By  George 

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PABLES  IN   SONG.     By  Eobert  Lord  Lytton,  Author  of  'Poems  by 

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TRAVELS   IN   SOUTH   AMERICA,  from   the   Pacific  to  the 

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embodied,  too,  in  a  form  suited  in  a  peculiar  degree  to  attract  and  even  fascinate  every  reader 
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THE   UNIVERSE :  or,  the  Infinitely  Great  and  the  Infinitely 

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A  TRIP  TO  MUSIC-LAND.  A  Fairy  Tale,  forming  an  Allegor- 
ical and  Pictorial  Exposition  of  the  Elements  of  Music.  By  EMMA  L.  SHED- 
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and  the  book  is  simply  deUghtiul."— Nonconformist. 

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* '  The  tale  is  very  cleverly  told.  "—Guardian. 

"A  great  novelty,  and  written  in  a  clever  and  amusing  style.  It  can  hardly  be  praised  too 
much." — Court  Journal, 

London  :  BLACKIE  &  SON,  Paternoster  Buildings. 



'  I. 


Being  Practical  Directions  for  the  Propagation,  Culture,  and  Arrange- 
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judge  for  himself," — Fall  Mall  Gazette. 

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these  disadvantages,  they  may  enjoy  the  charm  of  colour  and  of  per- 
fume. " — Fall  Mall  Gazette. 

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dantly illustrated  by  the  author's  own  pencil,  and  from  other  sources,  and 
is  a  noteworthy  addition  to  our  garden  literature." — The  Garden. 


FERS,  and  of  RHODODENDRONS  and  other  AMERICAN  FLOW- 
ERING SHRUBS,  suitable  for  the  Climate  and  Soils  of  Britain.  With 
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shrubs  with  which  to  decorate  their  places  ;  and  this  information  can  be 
obtained  at  the  cost  of  a  few  shillings,  and  without  the  labour  of  wading 
through  long  pages  of  irrelevant  matter." — Gardener. 

WILLIAM  BLACKWOOD  &  SONS,  Edinburgh  and  London. 







The  Right  Honourable  the  Earl  of  Glasgow, 

The  Right  Hon.  Lord  Moncreiff,  Lord  Justice-Clerk  of  Scotland. 

The  Riglit  Hon.  J.  A.  Stuart  Wortley,  Q.C. 

The  Honourable  Charles  Baillie.      I    Edward  Kent  Karslake,  Esq.,  Q.C. 

The  Honourable  Mr  Justice  Field.     |    William  Smythe,  Esq.,  of  Methven. 


G.  C.  Arbuthnot,  Esq.,  of  Mavisbank. 
John  Cook,  Esq.,  W.S. 
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John  Kirk,  Esq.,  W.S. 

Manager — William  Smith,  Esq.,  LL.D. 
rpHE    ASSOCIATION  combines  Perfect  Security 

William  Lindsay,  Esq.,  Merchant. 
Fletcher  Norton  Menzies,  Esq.,  of 

Ralph  Ersktne  Scott,  Esq.,  C.A. 
Archibald  Steuart,  Esq.,  W.S. 


to  the   Assured  with 

JL  Moderate  Rates  of  Premium,  careful  Selection  of  Risks,  and  liberal  and 
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among  the  Assured  every  Five  Years. 


120  PRINCES  STREET,  Edinburgh WILLIAM  ^MITB,  Manager. 

12  WATERLOO  PLACE,  London J.  HILL  WILLIAMS,  Actuary. 

105  ST  VINCENT  STREET,  Glasgow JOHN  OSWALD,  Secretary. 

41  LOWER  SACKVILLE  STREET,  Dublin... DAVID  DRIMMIE,  Secretary. 




The  price  of  the  Academy  from  October  1869  to  December  1873  was  Sixpence,  and  was  then 
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Produced  from  pure 

unworn  Irish 

Linen  Cuttings, 

"  A  peculiarly  substantial  and  elegant  description  of  stationery,  on  which  it  is  an  absolute 
luxury  to  write."— Daily  Telegraph.  ♦'  Precisely  the  kind  of  surface  which  is  so  agreeable 

to  the  ready  or  unready  writer."— JHorning  Post. 

TT/'ATERMAEK  (as  above)  and  "  Marcus  Ward  <fc  Co."  in  every  octavo  sheet.  Watermark 
* '  in  the  Second  Quality,  "  Pure  Flax."  Sample  Packet  of  all  "Varieties,  6d.,  post  free. 
Wholesale  of  the  Manufacturers  : 

MARCUS  WARD  &  CO. ,  London,  and  Royal  Ulster  Works,  Belfast. 


The  HISTOKY  of  the  SUEZ  CANAL.     A  Per- 

sonal  Narrative.  By  M.  Ferdinand  de  Lesseps,  G. C.S.I.  Trans- 
lated from  the  French  by  permission  of  the  Author.  By  Sir  Henry 
Dbummond  Wolff,  K.O.M.G.    Fcap.  8vo,  price  2s.  6d, 


The    ABODE    of    SNOW:    Observations   on   a 

Journey  through  the  Upper  Valleys  of  the  Himalaya.  By  Andrew 
Wilson.     With  Maps,  &c.     Crown  8vo,  10s.  6d. 

"  A  thrilling  story  of  adventure,  and  an  instructive  account  of  pictur- 
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** '  The  Abode  of  Snow'  will,  we  believe,  take  its  place  as  one  among 
the  few  of  our  really  classic  works  of  travel." — Nature. 


SION  of  the  CEIMEA.  New  Editions  of  the  first  Four  Volumes, 
price  £3,  6s.  ;  and  Vol.  V.,  the  Inkerman  Volume,  price  17s.  All 
sold  separately. 


KICK  Marshall,  Author  of  'French  Home  Life.'    8vo,  10s.  6d. 

Ceremonial — Forms- 


-TiTLEs— Decorations— Emblems— DiPLO- 
-Alien  Laws— Glory. 

"  The  general  public  would  hardly  be  led  to  anticipate  from  the  title 
selected  the  amount  of  entertainment  and  quaint  information  that  is  pre- 
sented in  this  volume." — Spectator. 

WILLIAM  BLACKWOOD  &  SONS,  Edinburgh  and  London. 







CAUTION.— The  extraordinary  medical  reports  on  the  efficacy  of  Chlorodyne 
render  it  of  vital  importance  that  the  public  should  obtain  the  genuine,  which 
bears  the  words,  "  Dr  J.  Collis  Browne's  Chlorodyne,"  on  the  Government 

Vice-Chancellor  Wood  stated  that  Dr  J.  Colus  Browne  was  undoubtedly  the  inventor  of 
Chlorodyne,  that  the  whole  story  of  the  Defendant  Freeman  was  deliberately  untrue. 

From  Dr  B.  J.  Boulton  &  Co.,  Horncastle. 
'*  We  have  made  pretty  extensive  use  of  Chlorodyne  in  our  practice  lately,  and  look  upon  it  as 
an  excellent  direct  Sedative  and  Anti-spasmodic.  It  seems  to  allay  pain  and  irritation  in  what- 
ever organ,  and  from  whatever  cause.  It  induces  a  feeling  of  comfort  and  quietude  not  obtain- 
able by  any  other  remedy,  and  it  seems  to  possess  this  great  advantage  over  all  other  Seda- 
tives, that  it  leaves  no  unpleasant  at'ter-efiTects. " 

From  W.  C.  Wilkinson,  Esq.,  F.R.C.8.,  Spalding. 
"I  consider  it  invaluable  in  Phthisis  and  Spasmodic  Cough;  the  benefit  is  very  marked 

Sold  in  Bottles,  Is.  l^d.,  2s.  9d.,  and  4s.  6d.,  by  all  Chemists. 

SOLE  MANUFACTURER— J.  T.  DAVENPORT,  33  Great  Eussell  Street,  W.C. 

FIRE!    FIRE!!     FIRE!!! 


Weighs  but  8  lb.,  and  will  throw  water  50  feet. 


These  urns  are  elegant  in  form,  are  the  most  eflBcient  ones  yet  introduced,  and 
effect  a  saving  of  50  per  cent.  The  '  Times'  newspaper  remarks  :  "  M.  Loysel's 
hydrostatic  machine  for  making  tea  or  cofiFee  is  justly  considered  as  one  of  the 
most  complete  inventions  of  its  kind." 

Sold  hy  all  respectable  Ironmongers.     More  than  200,000  noiv  in  use. 

Manufacturers  —  GfilPFITHS  &  BROWETT,   Birmingham  ;    12  Moorgate 

Street,  London ;  and  25  Boulevard  Magenta,  Paris. 



As  Supplied  to  Her  Majesty  at  all  the  Royal  Palaces, 

and  to  the  Aristocracy  and  Gentry  of  the  United  Kingdom.    The  delicious  product 

of  the  famed  Kent  Morellas.     Supersedes  Wine  in  many  households. 

A  most  valuable  Tonic. 

42s.  net  per  Dozen,  pre-paid.     Carriage  Free  in  England. 


"The  Sportsman's  Special  Quality." 

50s.  net  per  Dozen,  pre-paid.     Carriage  Free  in  England. 

This  quality,  which,  please  observe,  is  not  supplied  unless  distinctly  and  specially 

ordered,  contains  more  Brandy  and   less  Saccharine  than  the  above   "  Queen's 

Quality,"  and  has  been  specially  prepared  for  the  Hunting  Field,  &c.     Order 

through  any  Wine  Merchant,  or  direct  of 



We  beg  to  draw  attention  to  our  large 
and  well-matured  Stock  of  this  Excellent  and  Moderate-priced 

The  price  at  which  we  offer  it  is  so  reasonable,  and  the  quality 
so  fine,  that  we  consider  it  THE  BEST  and  most  ECONOMICAL 
White  Wine  we  know  for  DI:N'1^ER  and  HOUSEHOLD  USE. 

^^^o^?' olf  ^?f  ^'  °^  \  at  8s.  6d.  per  gallon, 
22  to  23  gallons,     ^ 

}  Casks  included. 
In    Octaves    of    U  K^  g^  g^^        do.         ) 
gallons,  J 

In  Wickered    Jars  )  )  Jars  charged  extra, 

of    4,    5,   and    6  vat  8s.  9d.       do.  V     but  allowed   for 

gallons,  J  J      when  returned. 

Samples  sent  Carriage  paid  to  any  Railway  Station  in  England 
or  Scotland,  on  receipt  of  remittance. 



LIVERPOOL,  9  Lord  Street 



F  R  Y'S     COCOA 

in  ^-Ib.  and  |-lb.  packets. 

I^HE  CAEACAS  COCOA  specially  recommended  by  the  Manu- 
-  facturers  is  prepared  from  the  celebrated  Cocoa  of  Caracas,  combined  with 
other  choice  descriptions.  Purchasers  should  ask  specially  for  "  Fry's  Caracas 
Cocoa,"  to  distinguish  it  from  other  varieties.  "  A  most  delicious  and  valuable 

'  article.  —Standard. 

FRY'S  CHOCOLATE  CREAMS  are  delicious  sweetmeats. 


THE  Original  and  Genuine  Preparation  of  Indian  Com,  of  which 
all  Corn  Flours  are  but  Imitations. 
For  Purity,  for  Nutritive  Quality,  for  Agreeableness  to  the  Pal- 
ate of  Infants,  and  as  an  Article  of  Diet,  the  Genuine 


has  no  equal. 

Sold  by  all  respectable  Grocers  and  Italian  Warehoiisemen. 



A  single  trial  solicited  from  those  who  have  not  yet  tried  these  splendid  preparations. 



The  cheapest  because  the  best,  and  indispensable  to  every  household,  and  an 

inestimable  boon   to  housewives.      Makes  delicious   Puddings  without  eggs. 

Pastry  without   butter,  and  beautiful  light   Bread  without  yeast.     Sold  by 

Grocers,  Oilmen,  Chemists,  Ac,  in  Id.  Packets  ;  6d.,  Is.  6d.,  and  28.  Tins. 

Prepared  by  GOODALL,  BACKHOUSE,  &  CO.,  LEEDS. 


This  cheap  and  excellent  Sauce  makes  the  plainest  viands  palatable,  and  the 
daintiest  dishes  more  delicious.    To  Chops  and  Steaks,  Fish,  <Sic. ,  it  is  incom- 
parable.    Sold  by  Grocers,  Oilmen,  Chemists,  &c.,  in  Bottles,  6d.,  Is.,  and  28. 

Prepared  by  GOODALL,  BACKHOUSE,  &  CO.,  LEEDS, 


The    best,  cheapest,  and  most  agreeable  tonic  yet  introduced.    The  best 
remedy  known  for  Indigestion,  Loss  of  Appetite,  General  Debility,  &c.     Re- 
stores delicate  invalids  to  health  and  vigour.     Sold  by  Chemists,  Grocers,  &c 
at  Is.,  Is.  l^d.,  28.,  and  2s.  3d.  each  Bottle. 

Prepared  by  GOODALL,  BACKHOUSE,  &  Co.,  LEEDS. 



None  are  genuine  without  the  name  of  J.  &  J.  CASH. 




The  most  durable  and  satisfactory  Trimming  for 








In  the  MOST  DIGESTIBLE  and 


Adopted  on  account  of 


143  NEW  BOND  STREET,  LONDON,  and  all  CHEMISTS. 






J.  &  J.  CASH, 



J.  &  P.  COATS 


To  be  had  of  all  Wholesale  and  Retail  Drapers  throughout  the  United  Kingdom. 






This  Cotton  being  greatly  improved  in  quality 
and  finish,  will  be  found  unsurpassed  for 
Machine  or  Hand  Sewing. 
On  Eeels  100,  200,  or  500  Yards. 


Unsurpassed  in  Quality. 


Let  thy  chief  teiTor  be  of  thine  own  soul : 
There,  'mid  the  throng  of  hiUTjing  desires 
That  trample  o'er  the  dead  to  seize  their  spoil, 
Lurks  vengeance,  footless,  irresistible 
As  exlialations  laden  with  slow  death, 
And  o'er  the  fairest  troop  of  captured  joys 
Breathes  pallid  pestilence. 




VOL.    L 




AH  RigJifs  reserved 


BOOK    I. 

BOOK    I. 


Men  can  do  nothing  without  the  make-believe  of  a  beginning.  Even 
Science,  the  strict  measurer,  is  obliged  to  start  with  a  make-believe  unit, 
and  must  fix  on  a  point  in  the  stars'  unceasing  journey  when  his  sidereal 
clock  shall  pretend  that  time  is  at  Nought.  His  less  accurate  grand- 
mother Poetry  has  always  been  understood  to  start  in  the  middle ;  but  on 
reflection  it  appears  that  her  proceeding  is  aot  very  dififerent  from  his  ; 
since  Science,  too,  reckons  backwards  as  well  as  forwards,  divides  his  unit 
into  billions,  and  with  his  clock-finger  at  Nought  really  sets  ofiF  in  medias 
res.  No  retrospect  will  take  us  to  the  true  beginning ;  and  whether  our 
prologue  be  in  heaven  or  on  earth,  it  is  but  a  fraction  of  that  all-presuppos- 
ing fact  with  which  our  story  sets  out. 

Was  she  beautiful  or  not  beautiful?  and  what 
was  the  secret  of  form  or  expression  which  gave 
the  dynamic  quality  to  her  glance?  Was  the 
good  or  the  evil  genius  dominant  in  those 
beams  ?  Probably  the  evil ;  else  why  was  the 
effect  that  of  unrest  rather  than  of  undisturbed 


charm?  Why  was  the  wish  to  look  again  felt 
as  coercion  and  not  as  a  longing  in  which  the 
whole  being  consents  ? 

She  who  raised  these  questions  in  Daniel  Der- 
onda's  mind  was  occupied  in  gambling :  not  in  the 
open  air  under  a  southern  sky,  tossing  coppers  on 
a  ruined  wall,  with  rags  about  her  limbs ;  but  in 
one  of  those  splendid  resorts  which  the  enlighten- 
ment of  ages  has  prepared  for  the  same  species  of 
pleasure  at  a  heavy  cost  of  gilt  mouldings,  dark- 
toned  colour  and  chubby  nudities,  all  correspond- 
ingly heavy — forming  a  suitable  condenser  for 
human  breath  belonging,  in  great  part,  to  the 
highest  fashion,  and  not  easily  procurable  to  be 
breathed  in  elsewhere  in  the  like  proportion,  at 
least  by  persons  of  little  fashion. 

It  was  near  four  o'clock  on  a  September  day,  so 
that  the  atmosphere  was  well-brewed  to  a  visible 
haze.  There  was  deep  stillness,  broken  only  by 
a  light  rattle,  a  light  chink,  a  small  sweeping 
sound,  and  an  occasional  monotone  in  French, 
such  as  might  be  expected  to  issue  from  an  in- 
geniously constructed  automaton.  Bound  two 
long  tables  were  gathered  two  serried  crowds  of 
human  beings,  all  save  one  having  their  faces  and 
attention  bent  on  the  tables.  The  one  exception 
was  a  melancholy  little  boy,  with  his  knees  and 


calves  simply  in  their  natural  clothing  of  epider- 
mis, but  for  the  rest  of  his  person  in  a  fancy 
dress.  He  alone  had  his  face  turned  towards  the 
doorway,  and  fixing  on  it  the  blank  gaze  of  a 
bedizened  child  stationed  as  a  masquerading  ad- 
vertisement on  the  platform  of  an  itinerant  show, 
stood  close  behind  a  lady  deeply  engaged  at  the 

About  this  table  fifty  or  sixty  persons  were 
assembled,  many  in  the  outer  rows,  where  there 
was  occasionally  a  deposit  of  new  comers,  being 
mere  spectators,  only  that  one  of  them,  usually 
a  woman,  might  now  and  then  be  observed  put- 
ting down  a  five-franc  piece  with  a  simpering  air, 
just  to  see  what  the  passion  of  gambling  really 
was.  Those  who  were  taking  their  pleasure  at  a 
higher  strength,  and  were  absorbed  in  play,  showed 
very  distant  varieties  of  European  type :  Livonian 
and  Spanish,  Grseco  -  Italian  and  miscellaneous 
German,  English  aristocratic  and  English  plebeian. 
Here  certainly  was  a  striking  admission  of  human 
equality.  The  white  bejewelled  fingers  of  an 
English  countess  were  very  near  touching  a  bony, 
yellow,  crab-like  hand  stretching  a  bared  wrist  to 
clutch  a  heap  of  coin — a  hand  easy  to  sort  with 
the  square,  gaunt  face,  deep-set  eyes,  grizzled  eye- 
brows, and  ill-combed  scanty  hair  which  seemed 


a  slight  metamorphosis  of  the  vulture.  And 
where  else  would  her  ladyship  have  graciously 
consented  to  sit  by  that  dry -lipped  feminine 
figure  prematurely  old,  withered  after  short  bloom 
like  her  artificial  flowers,  holding  a  shabby  vel- 
vet reticule  before  her,  and  occasionally  putting 
in  her  mouth  the  point  with  which  she  pricked 
her  card  ?  There  too,  very  near  the  fair  countess, 
was  a  respectable  London  tradesman,  blond  and 
soft -handed,  his  sleek  hair  scrupulously  parted 
behind  and  before,  conscious  of  circulars  addressed 
to  the  nobility  and  gentry,  whose  distinguished 
patronage  enabled  him  to  take  his  holidays  fash- 
ionably, and  to  a  certain  extent  in  their  distin- 
guished company.  Not  his  the  gambler's  passion 
that  nullifies  appetite,  but  a  well-fed  leisure, 
which  in  the  intervals  of  winning  money  in  busi- 
ness and  spending  it  showily,  sees  no  better  re- 
source than  winning  money  in  play  and  spending 
it  yet  more  showily — reflecting  always  that  Provi- 
dence had  never  manifested  any  disapprobation  of 
his  amusement,  and  dispassionate  enough  to  leave 
off  if  the  sweetness  of  winning  much  and  seeing 
others  lose  had  turned  to  the  sourness  of  losing 
much  and  seeing  others  win.  For  the  vice  of 
gambling  lay  in  losing  money  at  it.  In  his  bear- 
ing there  might  be  something  of  the  tradesman. 


but  in  his  pleasures  he  was  fit  to  rank  with  the 
owners  of  the  oldest  titles.  Standing  close  to  his 
chair  was  a  handsome  Italian,  calm,  statuesque, 
reaching  across  him  to  place  the  first  pile  of  na- 
poleons from  a  new  bagful  just  brought  him  by 
an  envoy  with  a  scrolled  mustache.  The  pile 
was  in  half  a  minute  pushed  over  to  an  old  be- 
wigged  woman  with  eyeglasses  pinching  her  nose. 
There  was  a  slight  gleam,  a  faint  mumbling  smile 
about  the  lips  of  the  old  woman ;  but  the  statu- 
esque Italian  remained  impassive,  and — probably 
secure  in  an  infallible  system  which  placed  his 
foot  on  the  neck  of  chance — immediately  pre- 
pared a  new  pile.  So  did  a  man  with  the  air 
of  an  emaciated  beau  or  worn-out  libertine,  who 
looked  at  life  through  one  eyeglass,  and  held  out 
his  hand  tremulously  when  he  asked  for  change. 
It  could  surely  be  no  severity  of  system,  but  rather 
some  dream  of  white  crows,  or  the  induction  that 
the  eighth  of  the  month  was  lucky,  which  inspired 
the  fierce  yet  tottering  impulsiveness  of  his  play. 
But  while  every  single  player  differed  markedly 
from  every  other,  there  was  a  certain  uniform 
negativeness  of  expression  which  had  the  effect 
of  a  mask — as  if  they  had  all  eaten  of  some  root 
that  for  the  time  compelled  the  brains  of  each  to 
the  same  narrow  monotony  of  action. 


Deronda's  first  thought  when  his  eyes  fell  on 
this  scene  of  dull,  gas -poisoned  absorption  was 
that  the  gambling  of  Spanish  shepherd-boys  had 
seemed  to  him  more  enviable : — so  far  Eousseau 
might  be  justified  in  maintaining  that  art  and 
science  had  done  a  poor  service  to  mankind.  But 
suddenly  he  felt  the  moment  become  dramatic. 
His  attention  was  arrested  by  a  young  lady  who, 
standing  at  an  angle  not  far  from  him,  was  the 
last  to  whom  his  eyes  travelled.  She  was  bend- 
ing and  speaking  English  to  a  middle-aged  lady 
seated  at  play  beside  her ;  but  the  next  instant 
she  returned  to  her  play,  and  showed  the  full 
height  of  a  graceful  figure,  with  a  face  which 
might  possibly  be  looked  at  without  admiration, 
but  could  hardly  be  passed  with  indifference. 

The  inward  debate  which  she  raised  in  Deronda 
gave  to  his  eyes  a  growing  expression  of  scrutiny, 
tending  farther  and  farther  away  from  the  glow 
of  mingled  undefined  sensibilities  forming  ad- 
miration. At  one  moment  they  followed  the 
movements  of  the  figure,  of  the  arms  and  hands, 
as  this  problematic  sylph  bent  forward  to  deposit 
her  stake  with  an  air  of  firm  choice;  and  the 
next  they  returned  to  the  face  which,  at  present 
unaffected  by  behcrlders,  was  directed  steadily  to- 
wards the  game.     The  sylph  was  a  winner ;  and 


as  her  taper  fingers,  delicately  gloved  in  pale- 
grey,  were  adjusting  the  coins  which  had  been 
pushed  towards  her  in  order  to  pass  them  back 
again  to  the  winning  point,  she  looked  round  her 
with  a  survey  too  markedly  cold  and  neutral  not 
to  have  in  it  a  little  of  that  nature  which  we  call 
art  concealing  an  inward  exultation. 

But  in  the  course  of  that  survey  her  eyes  met 
Deronda's,  and  instead  of  averting  them  as  she 
would  have  desired  to  do,  she  was  unpleasantly 
conscious  that  they  were  arrested — how  long  ? 
The  darting  sense  that  he  was  measuring  her  and 
looking  down  on  her  as  an  inferior,  that  he  was  of 
different  quality  from  the  human  dross  around 
her,  that  he  felt  himself  in  a  region  outside  and 
above  her,  and  was  examining  her  as  a  specimen 
of  a  lower  order,  roused  a  tingling  resentment 
which  stretched  the  moment  with  conflict.  It 
did  not  bring  the  blood  to  her  cheeks,  but  sent  it 
away  from  her  lips.  She  controlled  herself  by 
the  help  of  an  inward  defiance,  and  without  other 
sign  of  emotion  than  this  lip-paleness  turned  to 
her  play.  But  Deronda's  gaze  seemed  to  have 
acted  as  an  evil  eye.  Her  stake  was  gone.  No 
matter;  she  had  been  winning  ever  since  she 
took  to  roulette  with  a  few  napoleons  at  com- 
mand, and  had  a  considerable  reserve.     She  had 


begun  to  believe  in  her  luck,  others  had  begun  to 
believe  in  it:  she  had  visions  of  being  followed 
by  a  corthge  who  would  worship  her  as  a  goddess 
of  luck  and  watch  her  play  as  a  directing  augury. 
Such  things  had  been  known  of  male  gamblers ; 
why  should  not  a  woman  have  a  like  supremacy  ? 
Her  friend  and  chaperon  who  had  not  wished 
her  to  play  at  first  was  beginning  to  approve, 
only  administering  the  prudent  advice  to  stop 
at  the  right  moment  and  carry  money  back  to 
England — advice  to  which  Gwendolen  had  re- 
plied that  she  cared  for  the  excitement  of 
play,  not  the  winnings.  On  that  supposition  the 
present  moment  ought  to  have  made  the  flood- 
tide  in  her  eager  experience  of  gambling.  Yet 
when  her  next  stake  was  swept  away,  she  felt  the 
orbits  of  her  eyes  getting  hot,  and  the  certainty 
she  had  (without  looking)  of  that  man  stiU  watch- 
ing her  was  something  like  a  pressure  which  be- 
gins to  be  torturing.  The  more  reason  to  her  why 
she  should  not  flinch,  but  go  on  playing  as  if  she 
were  indifferent  to  loss  or  gain.  Her  friend 
touched  her  elbow  and  proposed  that  they  should 
quit  the  table.  For  reply  Gwendolen  put  ten 
louis  on  the  same  spot:  she  was  in  that  mood 
of  defiance  in  which  the  mind  loses  sight  of  any 
end  beyond  the  satisfaction  of  enraged  resistance ; 


and  with  the  puerile  stupidity  of  a  dominant 
impulse  includes  luck  among  its  objects  of  de- 
fiance. Since  she  was  not  winning  strikingly, 
the  next  best  thing  was  to  lose  strikingly.  She 
controlled  her  muscles,  and  showed  no  tremor  of 
mouth  or  hands.  Each  time  her  stake  was  swept 
off  she  doubled  it.  Many  were  now  watching 
her,  but  the  sole  observation  she  was  conscious 
of  was  Deronda's,  who,  though  she  never  looked 
towards  him,  she  was  sure  had  not  moved  away. 
Such  a  drama  takes  no  long  while  to  play  out :  de- 
veloprpent  and  catastrophe  can  often  be  measured 
by  nothing  clumsier  than  the  moment-hand. 
"Faites  votre  jeu,  mesdames  et  messieurs,"  said 
the  automatic  voice  of  destiny  from  between  the 
mustache  and  imperial  of  the  croupier ;  and 
Gwendolen's  arm  was  stretched  to  deposit  her 
last  poor  heap  of  napoleons.  "Le  jeu  ne  va 
plus,"  said  destiny.  And  in  five  seconds  Gwen- 
dolen turned  from  the  table,  but  turned  resolutely 
with  her  face  towards  Deronda  and  looked  at  him. 
There  was  a  smile  of  irony  in  his  eyes  as  their 
glances  met;  but  it  was  at  least  better  that  he 
should  have  kept  his  attention  fixed  on  her  than 
that  he  should  have  disregarded  her  as  one  of  an 
insect  swarm  who  had  no  individual  physiognomy. 
Besides,  in  spite  of  his  superciliousness  and  irony, 


it  was  difficult  to  believe  that  he  did  'not  admire 
her  spirit  as  well  as  her  person :  he  was  young, 
handsome,  distinguished  in  appearance — not  one 
of  those  ridiculous  and  dowdy  Philistines  who 
thought  it  incumbent  on  them  to  blight  the 
gaming-table  with  a  sour  look  of  protest  as  they 
passed  by  it.  The  general  conviction  that  we  are 
admirable  does  not  easily  give  way  before  a  single 
negative ;  rather  when  any  of  Vanity's  large  family, 
male  or  female,  find  their  performance  received 
coldly,  they  are  apt  to  believe  that  a  little  more 
of  it  will  win  over  the  unaccountable  dissident. 
In  Gwendolen's  habits  of  mind  it  had  been  taken 
for  granted  that  she  knew  what  was  admirable 
and  that  she  herself  was  admired.  This  basis  of 
her  thinking  had  received  a  disagreeable  con- 
cussion, and  reeled  a  little,  but  was  not  easily  to 
be  overthrown. 

In  the  evening  the  same  room  was  more 
stiflingly  heated,  was  brilliant  with  gas  and  with 
the  costumes  of  many  ladies  who  floated 
their  trains  along  it  or  were  seated  on  the 

The  Nereid  in  sea-green  robes  and  silver  orna- 
ments, with  a  pale  sea-green  feather  fastened  in 
silver  falling  backward  over  her  green  hat  and 
light-brown  hair,}  was  Gwendolen  Harleth.     She 


was  under  the  wing  or  rather  soared  by  the 
shoulder  of  the  lady  who  had  sat  by  her  at  the 
roulette-table;  and  with  them  was  a  gentleman 
with  a  white  mustache  and  clipped  hair:  solid- 
browed,  stiff,  and  German.  They  were  walking 
about  or  standing  to  chat  with  acquaintances; 
and  Gwendolen  was  much  observed  by  the  seated 

"A  striking  girl — that  Miss  Harleth — unlike 

"  Yes  ;  she  has  got  herself  up  as  a  sort  of  serpent 
now,  all  green  and  silver,  and  winds  her  neck 
about  a  little  more  than  usual." 

"  Oh,  she  must  always  be  doing  something  ex- 
traordinary. She  is  that  kind  of  girl,  I  fancy. 
Do  you  think  her  pretty,  Mr  Vandernoodt  ? " 

"  Very.  A  man  might  risk  hanging  for  her — 
I  mean,  a  fool  might." 

"  You  like  a  nez  retrousse  then,  and  long  narrow 

"  When  they  go  with  such  an  ensemble." 

"  The  ensemble  du  serpent  ?  " 

"If  you  will.  Woman  was  tempted  by  a 
serpent:   why  not  man?" 

"  She  is  certainly  very  graceful.  But  she  wants 
a  tinge  of  colour  in  her  cheeks :  it  is  a  sort  of 
Lamia  beauty  she  has." 


"  On  the  contrary,  I  think  her  complexion  one  of 
her  chief  charms.  It  is  a  warm  paleness  :  it  looks 
thoroughly  healthy.  And  that  delicate  nose  with 
its  gradual  little  upward  curve  is  distracting.  And 
then  her  mouth — there  never  was  a  prettier  mouth, 
the  lips  curl  backward  so  finely,  eh,  Mackworth  ? " 

"Think  so?  I  cannot  endure  that  sort  of 
mouth.  It  looks  so  self-complacent,  as  if  it  knew 
its  own  beauty — the  curves  are  too  immovable. 
I  like  a  mouth  that  trembles  more." 

"For  my  part  I  think  her  odious,"  said  a 
dowager.  "  It  is  wonderful  what  unpleasant  girls 
get  into  vogue.  Who  are  these  Langens  ?  Does 
anybody  know  them  ? " 

"  They  are  quite  comme  il  faut  I  have  dined 
with  them  several  times  at  the  Bussie.  The 
baroness  is  English.  Miss  Harleth  calls  her 
cousin.  The  girl  herself  is  thoroughly  well-bred, 
and  as  clever  as  possible." 

"  Dear  me  !    And  the  baron  ? " 

"A  very  good  furniture  picture." 

"  Your  baroness  is  always  at  the  roulette-table," 
said  Mackworth.  "I  fancy  she  has  taught  the 
girl  to  gamble." 

"  Oh,  the  old  woman  plays  a  very  sober  game ; 
drops  a  ten-franc  piece  here  and  there.  The  girl 
is  more  headlong.     But  it  is  only  a  freak." 


"  I  hear  she  has  lost  all  her  winnings  to-day. 
Are  they  rich  ?    Who  knows  ? " 

"Ah,  who  knows?  Who  knows  that  about 
anybody?"  said  Mr  Vandernoodt,  moving  off  to 
join  the  Langens. 

The  remark  that  Gwendolen  wound  her  neck 
about  more  than  usual  this  evening  was  true. 
But  it  was  not  that  she  might  carry  out  the 
serpent  idea  more  completely :  it  was  that  she 
watched  for  any  chance  of  seeing  Deronda,  so 
that  she  might  inquire  about  this  stranger,  under 
whose  measuring  gaze  she  was  still  wincing.  At 
last  her  opportunity  came. 

"  Mr  Vandernoodt,  you  know  everybody,"  said 
Gwendolen,  not  too  eagerly,  rather  with  a  certain 
languor  of  utterance  which  she  sometimes  gave  to 
her  clear  soprano.     "  Who  is  that  near  the  door  ?" 

"  There  are  half  a  dozen  near  the  door.  Do  you 
mean  that  old  Adonis  in  the  George  the  Fourth 

"No,  no;  the  dark-haired  young  man  on  the 
right  with  the  dreadful  expression." 

"Dreadful,  do  you  call  it?  I  think  he  is  an 
uncommonly  fine  fellow," 

''But  who  is  he?" 

"  He  is  lately  come  to  our  hotel  with  Sir  Hugo 


"Sir  Hugo  Mallinger?" 

"  Yes.     Do  you  know  him  ? " 

"  No/'  (Gwendolen  coloured  slightly.)  "  He 
has  a  place  near  us,  but  he  never  comes  to  it. 
What  did  you  say  was  the  name  of  that  gentle- 
man near  the  door  ? " 

"  Deronda — Mr  Deronda." 

"  What  a  delightful  name  !  Is  he  an  English- 
man ? " 

"  Yes.  He  is  reported  to  be  rather  closely  re- 
lated to  the  Baronet.  You  are  interested  in 

"Yes.  I  think  he  is  not  like  young  men  in 

"And  you  don't  admire  young  men  in  general?" 

"  Not  in  the  least.  I  always  know  what  they 
will  say.  I  can't  at  all  guess  what  this  Mr 
Deronda  would  say.     What  does  he  say  ? " 

"  Nothing,  chiefly.  I  sat  with  his  party  for  a 
good  hour  last  night  on  the  terrace,  and  he  never 
spoke — and  was  not  smoking  either.  He  looked 

"Another  reason  why  I  should  like  to  know 
him.     I  am  always  bored." 

"  I  should  think  he  would  be  charmed  to  have 
an  introduction.'  Shall  I  bring  it  about?  Will 
you  allow  it,  Baroness  ? " 


"Why  not? — since  he  is  related  to  Sir  Hugo 
Mallinger.  It  is  a  new  rdle  of  yours,  Gwendolen, 
to  be  always  bored,"  continued  Madame  von 
Langen,  when  Mr  Vandernoodt  had  moved  away. 
"  Until  now  you  have  always  seemed  eager  about 
something  from  morning  till  night." 

"  That  is  j  ust  because  I  am  bored  to  death.  If 
I  am  to  leave  off  play  I  must  break  my  arm  or 
my  collar-bone.  I  must  make  something  happen ; 
unless  you  will  go  into  Switzerland  and  take  me 
up  the  Matterhorn." 

"  Perhaps  this  Mr  Deronda's  acquaintance  will 
do  instead  of  the  Matterhorn." 

"  Perhaps." 

But  Gwendolen  did  not  make  Deronda's  ac- 
quaintance on  this  occasion.  Mr  Vandernoodt 
did  not  succeed  in  bringing  him  up  to  her  that 
evening,  and  when  she  re-entered  her  own  room 
she  found  a  letter  recalling  her  home. 

VOL.  L 



This  man  contrives  a  secret  'twixt  us  two, 
That  he  may  quell  me  with  his  meeting  eyes 
Like  one  who  quells  a  lioness  at  bay. 

This   was   the   letter   Gwendolen   found   on  her 
table : — 

Deaeest  Child,  —  I  have  been  expecting  to 
hear  from  you  for  a  week.  In  your  last  you  said 
the  Langens  thought  of  going  to  Baden.  How 
could  you  be  so  thoughtless  as  to  leave  me  in 
uncertainty  about  your  address?  I  am  in  the 
greatest  anxiety  lest  this  should  not  reach  you. 
In  any  case  you  were  to  come  home  at  the  end  of 
September,  and  I  must  now  entreat  you  to  return 
as  quickly  as  possible,  for  if  you  spent  all  your 
money  it  would  be  out  of  my  power  to  send  you 
any  more,  and  you  must  not  borrow  of  the  Langens, 
for  I  could  not  repay  them.  This  is  the  sad 
truth,  my  child — I  wish  I  could  prepare  you  for 


it  better — but  a  dreadful  calamity  has  befallen  us 
all.  You  know  nothing  about  business  and  will 
not  understand  it;  but  Grapnell  and  Co.  have 
failed  for  a  million  and  we'  are  totally  ruined — 
your  aunt  Gascoigne  as  well  as  I,  only  that  your 
uncle  has  his  benefice,  so  that  by  putting  down 
their  carriage  and  getting  interest  for  the  boys, 
the  family  can  go  on.  All  the  property  our  poor 
father  saved  for  us  goes  to  pay  the  liabilities. 
There  is  nothing  I  can  call  my  own.  It  is  better 
you  should  know  this  at  once,  though  it  rends  my 
heart  to  have  to  tell  it  you.  Of  course  we  can- 
not help  thinking  what  a  pity  it  was  that  you 
went  away  just  when  you  did.  But  I  shall  never 
reproach  you,  my  dear  child;  I  would  save  you 
from  all  trouble  if  I  could.  On  your  way  home 
you  will  have  time  to  prepare  yourself  for  the 
change  you  will  find.  We  shall  perhaps  leave 
Offendene  at  once,  for  we  hope  that  Mr  Haynes, 
who  wanted  it  before,  may  be  ready  to  take  it  off 
my  hands.  Of  course  we  cannot  go  to  the  Rec- 
tory— there  is  not  a  corner  there  to  spare.  We 
must  get  some  hut  or  other  to  shelter  us,  and  we 
must  live  on  your  uncle  Gascoigne's  charity,  until 
I  see  what  else  can  be  done.  I  shall  not  be  able 
to  pay  the  debts  to  the  tradesmen  besides  the 
servants'  wages.     Summon  up  your  fortitude,  my 


dear  child,  we  must  resign  ourselves  to  God's  will. 
But  it  is  hard  to  resign  one's  self  to  Mr  Lassman's 
wicked  recklessness,  which  they  say  was  the  cause 
of  the  failure.  Your  poor  sisters  can  only  cry 
with  me  and  give  me  no  help.  If  you  were  once 
here,  there  might  be  a  break  in  the  cloud.  I  al- 
ways feel  it  impossible  that  you  can  have  been 
meant  for  poverty.  If  the  Langens  wish  to  remain 
abroad  perhaps  you  can  put  yourself  under  some 
one  else's  care  for  the  journey.  But  come  as  soon 
as  you  can  to  your  afflicted  and  loving  mamma, 

Fanny  Davilow. 

The  first  effect  of  this  letter  on  Gwendolen  was 
half- stupefying.  The  implicit  confidence  that  hei 
destiny  must  be  one  of  luxurious  ease,  where  any 
trouble  that  occurred  would  be  well  clad  and  pro- 
vided for,  had  been  stronger  in  her  own  mind  than 
in  her  mamma's,  being  fed  there  by  her  youthful 
blood  and  that  sense  of  superior  claims  which 
made  a  large  part  of  her  consciousness.  It  was 
alm'ost  as  difficult  for  hfer  to  believe  suddenly  that 
her  position  had  become  one  of  poverty  and 
humiliating  dependence,  as  it  would  have  been 
to  get  into  the  strong  current  of  her  blooming  life 
the  chill  sense  that  her  death  would  really  come. 
She  stood  motionless   for   a  few   minutes,  then 


tossed  off  her  hat  and  automatically  looked  in  the 
glass.  The  coils  of  her  smooth  light-brown  hair 
were  still  in  order  perfect  enough  for  a  ball-room ; 
and  as  on  other  nights,  Gwendolen  might  have 
looked  lingeringly  at  herself  for  pleasure  (surely 
an  allowable  indulgence)  ;  but  now  she  took  no 
conscious  note  of  her  reflected  beauty,  and  simply 
stared  right  before  her  as  if  she  had  been  jarred 
by  a  hateful  sound  and  was  waiting  for  any  sign 
of  its  cause.  By-and-by  she  threw  herself  in  the 
corner  of  the  red  velvet  sofa,  took  up  the  letter 
again  and  read  it  twice  deliberately,  letting  it  at 
last  fall  on  the  ground,  while  she  rested  her  clasped 
hands  on  her  lap  and  sat  perfectly  still,  shedding 
no  tears.  Her  impulse  was  to  survey  and  resist 
the  situation  rather  than  to  wail  over  it.  There 
was  no  inward  exclamation  of  "Poor  mamma!" 
Her  mamma  had  never  seemed  to  get  much  en- 
joyment out  of  life,  and  if  Gwendolen  had  been 
at  this  moment  disposed  to  feel  pity  she  would 
have  bestowed  it  on  herself — for  was  she  not 
naturally  and  rightfully  the  chief  object  of  her 
mamma's  anxiety  too  ?  But  it  was  anger,  it  was 
resistance  that  possessed  her ;  it  was  bitter  vexa- 
tion that  she  had  lost  her  gains  at  roulette,  whereas 
if  her  luck  had  continued  through  this  one  day 
she  would  have  had  a  handsome  sum  to  carry 


home,  or  she  might  have  gone  on  playing  and  won 
enough  to  support  them  all.  Even  now  was  it  not 
possible?  She  had  only  four  napoleons  left  in 
her  purse,  but  she  possessed  some  ornaments  which 
she  could  pawn :  a  practice  so  common  in  stylish 
society  at  German  baths  that  there  was  no  need 
to  be  ashamed  of  it ;  and  even  if  she  had  not  re- 
ceived her  mamma's  letter,  she  would  probably 
have  decided  to  raise  money  on  an  Etruscan  neck- 
lace which  she  happened  not  to  have  been  wear- 
ing since  her  arrival ;  nay,  she  might  have  done  so 
with  an  agreeable  sense  that  she  was  living  with 
some  intensity  and  escaping  humdrum.  With 
ten  louis  at  her  disposal  and  a  return  of  her 
former  luck,  which  seemed  probable,  what  could 
she  do  better  than  go  on  playing  for  a  few  days  ? 
If  her  friends  at  home  disapproved  of  the  way  in 
which  she  got  the  money,  as  they  certainly  would, 
still  the  money  would  be  there.  Gwendolen's 
imagination  dwelt  on  this  course  and  created 
agreeable  consequences,  but  not  with  unbroken 
confidence  and  rising  certainty  as  it  would  have 
done  if  she  had  been  touched  with  the  gambler's 
mania.  She  had  gone  to  the  roulette-table  not 
because  of  passion,  but  in  search  of  it :  her  mind 
was  still  sanely  capable  of  picturing  balanced 
probabilities,  and  while   the   chance   of  winning 


allured  her,  the  chance  of  losing  thrust  itself  on 
her  with  alternate  strength  and  made  a  vision  from 
which  her  pride  shrank  sensitively.  For  she  was 
resolved  not  to  tell  the  Langens  that  any  misfor- 
tune had  befallen  her  family,  or  to  make  herself 
in  any  way  indebted  to  their  compassion;  and  if 
she  were  to  pawn  her  jewellery  to  any  observable 
extent,  they  would  interfere  by  inquiries  and 
remonstrances.  The  course  that  held  the  least 
risk  of  intolerable  annoyance  was  to  raise  money 
on  her  necklace  early. in  the  morning,  tell  the 
Langens  that  her  mamma  desired  her  immediate 
return  without  giving  a  reason,  and  take  the  train 
for  Brussels  that  evening.  She  had  no  maid  with 
her,  and  the  Langens  might  make  difi&culties  about 
her  returning  alone,  but  her  will  was  peremptory. 
Instead  of  going  to  bed  she  made  as  brilliant  a 
light  as  she  could  and  began  to  pack,  working  dili- 
gently, though  all  the  while  visited  by  the  scenes 
that  might  take  place  on  the  coming  day — now  by 
the  tiresome  explanations  and  farewells,  and  the 
whirling  journey  towards  a  changed  home,  now  by 
the  alternative  of  staying  just  another  day  and 
standing  again  at  the  roulette-table.  But  always 
in  this  latter  scene  there  was  the  presence  of  that 
Deronda,  watching  her  with  exasperating  irony, 
and — the  two  keen  experiences  were  inevitably  re- 


vived  together — beholding  her  again  forsaken  by 
luck.  This  importunate  image  certainly  helped  to 
sway  her  resolve  on  the  side  of  immediate  depar- 
ture, and  to  urge  her  packing  to  the  point  which 
would  make  a  change  of  mind  inconvenient.  It 
had  struck  twelve  when  she  came  into  her  room, 
and  by  the  time  she  was  assuring  herself  that  she 
had  left  out  only  what  was  necessary,  the  faint 
dawn  was  stealing  through  the  white  blinds  and 
dulling  her  candles.  What  was  the  use  of  going 
to  bed  ?  Her  cold  bath  was  refreshment  enough, 
and  she  saw  that  a  slight  trace  of  fatigue  about  the 
eyes  only  made  her  look  the  more  interesting. 
Before  six  o'clock  she  was  completely  equipped  in 
her  grey  travelling  dress  even  to  her  felt  hat,  for 
she  meant  to  walk  out  as  soon  as  she  could  count 
on  seeing  other  ladies  on  their  way  to  the  springs. 
And  happening  to  be  seated  sideways  before  the 
long  strip  of  mirror  between  her  two  windows  she 
turned  to  look  at  herself,  leaning  her  elbow  on  the 
back  of  the  chair  in  an  attitude  that  might  have 
been  chosen  for  her  portrait.  It  is  possible  to  have 
a  strong  self-love  without  any  self-satisfaction, 
rather  with  a  self- discontent  which  is  the  more 
intense  because  one's  own  little  core  of  egoistic 
sensibility  is  a  supreme  care;  but  Gwendolen 
knew  nothing  of  such  inward  strife.     She  had  a 


nmve  delight  in  her  fortunate  self,  which  any  but 
the  harshest  saintliness  will  have  some  indulgence 
for  in  a  girl  who  had  every  day  seen  a  pleasant 
reflection  of  that  self  in  her  friends'  flattery  as  well 
as  in  the  looking-glass.  And  even  in  this  begin- 
ning of  troubles,  while  for  lack  of  anything  else  to 
do  she  sat  gazing  at  her  image  in  the  growing 
light,  her  face  gathered  a  complacency  gradual  as. 
the  cheerfulness  of  the  morning.  Her  beautiful 
lips  curled  into  a  more  and  more  decided  smile, 
till  at  last  she  took  off  her  hat,  leaned  forward  and 
kissed  the  cold  glass  which  had  looked  so  warm. 
How  could  she  believe  in  sorrow  ?  If  it  attacked 
her,  she  felt  the  force  to  crush  it,  to  defy  it,  or  run 
away  from  it,  as  she  had  done  already.  Anything 
seemed  more  possible  than  that  she  could  go  on 
bearing  miseries,  great  or  small. 

Madame  von  Langen  never  went  out  before 
breakfast,  so  that  Gwendolen  could  safely  end  her 
early  walk  by  taking  her  way  homeward  through 
the  Obere  Strasse  in  which  was  the  needed  shop, 
sure  to  be  open  after  seven.  At  that  hour  any 
observers  whom  she  minded  would  be  either  on 
their  walks  in  the  region  of  the  springs,  or  would 
be  still  in  their  bedrooms  ;  but  certainly  there  was 
one  grand  hotel,  the  Czarina,  from  which  eyes 
might  follow  her  up  to  Mr  Wiener's  door.     This 


was  a  chance  to  be  risked  :  miglit  she  not  be  going 
in  to  buy  something  which  had  struck  her  fancy  ? 
This  implicit  falsehood  passed  through  her  mind 
as  she  remembered  that  the  Czarina  was  Deronda's 
hotel ;  but  she  was  then  already  far  up  the  Obere 
Strasse,  and  she  walked  on  with  her  usual  floating 
movement,  every  line  in  her  figure  and  drapery 
falling  in  gentle  curves  attractive  to  all  eyes  ex- 
cept those  which  discerned  in  them  too  close  a 
resemblance  to  the  serpent,  and  objected  to  the 
revival  of  serpent-worship.  She  looked  neither  to 
the  right  hand  nor  to  the  left,  and  transacted  her 
business  in  the  shop  with  a  coolness  which  gave 
little  Mr  Wiener  nothing  to  remark  except  her 
proud  grace  of  manner,  and  the  superior  size  and 
quality  of  the  three  central  turquoises  in  the  neck- 
lace she  offered  him.  They  had  belonged  to  a 
chain  once  her  father's  ;  but  she  had  never  known 
her  father ;  and  the  necklace  was  in  all  respects  the 
ornament  she  could  most  conveniently  part  with. 
Who  supposes  that  it  is  an  impossible  contradic- 
tion to  be  superstitious  and  rationalising  at  the 
same  time  ?  Eoulette  encourages  a  romantic 
superstition  as  to  the  chances  of  the  game,  and  the 
most  prosaic  rationalism  as  to  human  sentiments 
which  stand  in  the  way  of  raising  needful  money. 
Gwendolen's  dominant  regret  was  that  after  all 


she  had  only  nine  louis  to  add  to  the  four  in  her 
purse :  these  Jew  pawnbrokers  were  so  unscru- 
pulous in  taking  advantage  of  Christians  unfortu- 
nate at  play  !  But  she  was  the  Langens'  guest  in 
their  hired  apartment,  and  had  nothing  to  pay 
there :  thirteen  louis  would  do  more  than  take  her 
home ;  even  if  she  determined  on  risking  three,  the 
remaining  ten  would  more  than  suffice,  since  she 
meant  to  travel  right  on,  day  and  night.  As  she 
turned  homewards,  nay  entered  and  seated  herself 
in  the  salon  to  await  her  friends  and  breakfast, 
she  still  wavered  as  to  her  immediate  departure, 
or  rather  she  had  concluded  to  tell  the  Langens 
simply  that  she  had  had  a  letter  from  her  mamma 
desiring  her  return,  and  to  leave  it  still  undecided 
when  she  should  start.  It  was  already  the  usual 
breakfast  time,  and  hearing  some  one  enter  as  she 
was  leaning  back  rather  tired  and  hungry  with 
her  eyes  shut,  she  rose  expecting  to  see  one  or  other 
of  the  Langens — the  words  which  might  determine 
her  lingering  at  least  another  day,  ready-formed 
to  pass  her  lips.  But  it  was  the  servant  bringing 
in  a  small  packet  for  Miss  Harleth,  which  had 
that  moment  been  left  at  the  door.  Gwendolen 
took  it  in  her  hand  and  immediately  hurried  into 
her  own  room.  She  looked  paler  and  more  agitated 
than  when  she  had  first  read  her  mamma's  letter. 


Something — she  never  quite  knew  what — revealed 
to  her  before  she  opened  the  packet  that  it  con- 
tained the  necklace  she  had  just  parted  with. 
Underneath  the  paper  it  was  wrapt  in  a  cambric 
handkerchief,  and  within  this  was  a  scrap  of  torn- 
off  note-paper,  on  which  was  written  with  a  pencil 
in  clear  but  rapid  handwriting — "  A  stranger 
who  has  found  Miss  Harleth's  necklace  returns  it 
to  her  with  the  hope  that  she  will  not  again  risk  the 
loss  of  it." 

Gwendolen  reddened  with  the  vexation  of 
wounded  pride.  A  large  corner  of  the  handker- 
chief seemed  to  have  been  recklessly  torn  off  to 
get  rid  of  a  mark ;  but  she  at  once  believed  in  the 
first  image  of  "  the  stranger  "  that  presented  itself 
to  her  mind.  It  was  Deronda ;  he  must  have  seen 
her  go  into  the  shop ;  he  must  have  gone  in  im- 
mediately after,  and  redeemed  the  necklace.  He 
had  taken  an  unpardonable  liberty,  and  had  dared 
to  place  her  in  a  thoroughly  hateful  position.  What 
could  she  do  ? — Not,  assuredly,  act  on  her  con- 
viction that  it  was  he  who  had  sent  her  the  neck- 
lace, and  straightway  send  it  back  to  him :  that 
would  be  to  face  the  possibility  that  she  had  been 
mistaken ;  nay,  even  if  the  "  stranger "  were  he 
and  no  other,  it  would  be  something  too  gross  for 
her  to  let  him  know  that  she  had  divined  this,  and 


to  meet  him  again  with  that  recognition  in  their 
minds.  He  knew  very  well  that  he  was  entangling 
her  in  helpless  humiliation :  it  was  another  way  of 
smiling  at  her  ironically,  and  taking  the  air  of  a 
supercilious  mentor.  Gwendolen  felt  the  bitter 
tears  of  mortification  rising  and  rolling  down  her 
cheeks.  No  one  had  ever  before  dared  to  treat  her 
with  irony  and  contempt.  One  thing  was  clear : 
she  must  carry  out  her  resolution  to  quit  this  place 
at  once ;  it  was  impossible  for  her  to  reappear  in 
the  public  salon,  still  less  stand  at  the  gaming- 
table with  the  risk  of  seeing  Deronda.  Now  came 
an  importunate  knock  at  the  door :  breakfast 
was  ready.  Gwendolen  with  a  passionate  move- 
ment thrust  necklace,  cambric,  scrap  of  paper  and 
all  into  her  n^cessaire,  pressed  her  handkerchief 
against  her  face,  and  after  pausing  a  minute  or 
two  to  summon  back  her  proud  seK-control,  went 
to  join  her  friends.  Such  signs  of  tears  and  fatigue 
as  were  left  seemed  accordant  enough  with  the 
account  she  at  once  gave  of  her  having  been  called 
home,  for  some  reason  which  she  feared  might  be 
a  trouble  of  her  mamma's  ;  and  of  her  having  sat 
up  to  do  her  packing,  instead  of  waiting  for  help 
from  her  friend's  maid.  There  was  much  pro- 
testation, as  she  had  expected,  against  her  travel- 
ling   alone,   but  she  persisted  in  refusing  any 


arrangements  for  companionship.  She  would  be 
put  into  the  ladies'  compartment  and  go  right  on. 
She  could  rest  exceedingly  well  in  the  train,  and 
was  afraid  of  nothing. 

In  this  way  it  happened  that  Gwendolen  never 
reappeared  at  the  roulette-table,  but  set  off  that 
Thursday  evening  for  Brussels,  and  on  Saturday 
morning  arrived  at  Offendene,  the  home  to  which 
she  and  her  family  were  soon  to  say  a  last  good- 



"  Let  no  flower  of  the  spring  pass  by  us :  let  us  crown  ourselves  with  rose- 
buds before  they  be  withered.  "—Book  of  Wisdom. 

Pity  that  Offendene  was  not  the  home  of  Miss 
Harleth's  childhood,  or  endeared  to  her  by  family 
memories  !  A  human  life,  I  think,  should  be  well 
rooted  in  some  spot  of  a  native  land,  where  it  may 
get  the  love  of  tender  kinship  for  the  face  of 
earth,  for  the  labours  men  go  forth  to,  for  the 
sounds  and  accents  that  haunt  it,  for  whatever 
will  give  that  early  home  a  familiar  unmistakable 
difference  amidst  the  future  widening  of  know- 
ledge :  a  spot  where  the  definiteness  of  early 
memories  may  be  inwrought  with  affection,  and 
kindly  acquaintance  with  all  neighbours,  even  to 
the  dogs  and  donkeys,  may  spread  not  by  senti- 
mental effort  and  reflection,  but  as  a  sweet  habit 
of  the  blood.  At  five  years  old,  mortals  are  not 
prepared  to  be  citizens  of  the  world,  to  be  stimu- 
lated by  abstract  nouns,  to  soar  above  preference 


into  impartiality ;  and  that  prejudice  in  favour 
of  milk  with  which  we  blindly  begin,  is  a  ty])e 
of  the  way  body  and  soul  must  get  nourished 
at  least  for  a  time.  The  best  introduction  to 
astronomy  is  to  think  of  the  nightly  heavens  as  a 
little  lot  of  stars  belonging  to  one's  own  home- 

But  this  blessed  persistence  in  which  afiection 
can  take  root  had  been  wanting  in  Gwendolen's 
life.  Offendene  had  been  chosen  as  her  mamma's 
home  simply  for  its  nearness  to  Pennicote  Rectory, 
and  it  was  only  the  year  before  that  Mrs  Davilow, 
Gwendolen,  and  her  four  half-sisters  (the  governesb 
and  the  maid  following  in  another  vehicle)  had 
been  driven  along  the  avenue  for  the  first  time  on 
a  late  October  afternoon  when  the  rooks  were 
cawing  loudly  above  them,  and  the  yellow  elm- 
leaves  were  whirling. 

The  season  suited  the  aspect  of  the  old  oblong 
red-brick  house,  rather  too  anxiously  ornamented 
with  stone  at  every  line,  not  excepting  the  double 
row  of  narrow  windows  and  the  large  square 
portico.  The  stone  encouraged  a  greenish  lichen, 
the  brick  a  powdery  grey,  so  that  though  the 
building  was  rigidly  rectangular  there  was  no 
harshness  in  the  physiognomy  which  it  turned  to 
the  three  avenues  cut  east,  west,  and  south  in  the 


hundred  yards'  breadth  of  old  plantation  encircling 
the  immediate  grounds.  One  would  have  liked 
the  house  to  have  been  lifted  on  a  knoll,  so  as  to 
look  beyond  its  own  little  domain  to  the  long 
thatched  roofs  of  the  distant  villages,  the  church 
towers,  the  scattered  homesteads,  the  gradual  rise 
of  surging  woods,  and  the  green  breadths  of  undu- 
lating park  which  made  the  beautiful  face  of  the 
earth  in  that  part  of  Wessex.  But  though  stand- 
ing thus  behind  a  screen  amid  flat  pastures,  it  had 
on  one  side  a  glimpse  of  the  wider  world  in  the 
lofty  curves  of  the  chalk  downs,  grand  steadfast 
forms  played  over  by  the  changing  days. 

The  house  was  but  just  large  enough  to  be  called 
a  mansion,  and  was  moderately  rented,  having  no 
manor  attached  to  it,  and  being  rather  difficult  to 
let  with  its  sombre  furniture  and  faded  upholstery. 
But  inside  and  outside  it  was  what  no  beholder 
could  suppose  to  be  inhabited  by  retired  trades- 
people :  a  certainty  which  was  worth  many  con- 
veniences to  tenants  who  not  only  had  the  taste 
that  shrinks  from  new  finery,  but  also  were  in  that 
border-territory  of  rank  where  annexation  is  a 
burning  topic ;  and  to  take  up  her  abode  in  a  house 
which  had  once  sufi&ced  for  dowager  countesses 
gave  a  perceptible  tinge  to  Mrs  Davilow's  satisfac- 
tion in  having  an  establishment  of  her  own.  This, 

VOL.  L  O 


rather  mysteriously  to  Gwendolen,  appeared  sud- 
denly possible  on  the  death  of  her  step -father 
Captain  Davilow,  who  had  for  the  last  nine  years 
joined  his  family  only  in  a  brief  and  fitful  manner, 
enough  to  reconcile  them  to  his  long  absences; 
but  she  cared  much  more  for  the  fact  than  for  the 
explanation.  All  her  prospects  had  become  more 
agreeable  in  consequence.  She  had  disliked  their 
former  way  of  life,  roving  from  one  foreign  water- 
ing-place or  Parisian  apartment  to  another,  always 
feeling  new  antipathies  to  new  suites  of  hired 
furniture,  and  meeting  new  people  under  con- 
ditions which  made  her  appear  of  little  import- 
ance ;  and  the  variation  of  having  passed  two 
years  at  a  showy  school,  where  on  all  occasions 
of  display  she  had  been  put  foremost,  had  only 
deepened  her  sense  that  so  exceptional  a  person 
as  herself  could  hardly  remain  in  ordinary  circum- 
stances or  in  a  social  position  less  than  advanta- 
geous. Any  fear  of  this  latter  evil  was  banished 
now  that  her  mamma  was  to  have  an  establish- 
ment ;  for  on  the  point  of  birth  Gwendolen  was 
quite  easy.  She  had  no  notion  how  her  maternal 
grandfather  got  the  fortune  inherited  by  his  two 
daughters;  but  he  had  been  a  West  Indian — which 
seemed  to  exclude  further  question  ;  and  she  knew 
that  her  father's  family  was  so  high  as  to  take  no 


notice  of  her  mamma,  who  nevertheless  preserved 
with  much  pride  the  miniature  of  a  Lady  Molly 
in  that  connection.  She  would  probably  have 
known  much  more  about  her  father  but  for  a  little 
incident  which  happened  when  she  was  twelve 
years  old.  Mrs  Davilow  had  brought  out,  as  she 
did  only  at  wide  intervals,  various  memorials  of 
her  first  husband,  and  while  showing  his  miniature 
to  Gwendolen  recalled  with  a  fervour  which  seemed 
to  count  on  a  peculiar  filial  sympathy,  the  fact 
that  dear  papa  had  died  when  his  little  daughter 
was  in  long  clothes.  Gwendolen,  immediately 
thinking  of  the  unlovable  step-father  whom  she 
had  been  acquainted  with  the  greater  part  of  her 
life  while  her  frocks  were  short,  said — 

"Why  did  you  marry  again,  mamma?  It 
would  have  been  nicer  if  you  had  not." 

Mrs  Davilow  coloured  deeply,  a  slight  convul- 
sive movement  passed  over  her  face,  and  straight- 
way shutting  up  the  memorials  she  said  with  a 
violence  quite  unusual  in  her — 

"You  have  no  feeling,  child  !" 

Gwendolen,  who  was  fond  of  her  mamma,  felt 
hurt  and  ashamed,  and  had  never  since  dared  to 
ask  a  question  about  her  father. 

This  was  not  the  only  instance  in  which  she 
had  brought  on  herseK  the  pain  of  some  filial 


compunction.  It  was  always  arranged,  when 
possible,  that  she  should  have  a  small  bed  in  her 
mamma's  room;  for  Mrs  Davilow's  motherly- 
tenderness  clung  chiefly  to  her  eldest  girl,  who 
had  been  born  in  her  happier  time.  One  night 
under  an  attack  of  pain  she  found  that  the  specific 
regularly  placed  by  her  bedside  had  been  forgot- 
ten, and  begged  Gwendolen  to  get  out  of  bed  and 
reach  it  for  her.  That  healthy  young  lady,  snug 
and  warm  as  a  rosy  infant  in  her  little  couch, 
objected  to  step  out  into  the  cold,  and  lying  per- 
fectly still,  grumbled  a  refusal.  Mrs  Davilow 
went  without  the  medicine  and  never  reproached 
her  daughter ;  but  the  next  day  Gwendolen  was 
keenly  conscious  of  what  must  be  in  her  mamma's 
mind,  and  tried  to  make  amends  by  caresses  which 
cost  her  no  effort.  Having  always  been  the  pet 
and  pride  of  the  household,  waited  on  by  mother, 
sisters,  governess,  and  maids,  as  if  she  had  been  a 
princess  in  exile,  she  naturally  found  it  difficult 
to  think  her  own  pleasure  less  important  than 
others  made  it,  and  when  it  was  positively  thwarted 
felt  an  astonished  resentment  apt,  in  her  cruder 
days,  to  vent  itself  in  one  of  those  passionate  acts 
which  look  like  a  contradiction  of  habitual  ten- 
dencies. Though  never  even  as  a  child  thought- 
lessly cruel,  nay,  delighting  to  rescue  drowning 


insects  and  watch  their  recovery,  there  was  a 
disagreeable  silent  remembrance  of  her  having 
strangled  her  sister's  canary-bird  in  a  final  fit  of 
exasperation  at  its  shrill  singing  which  had  again 
and  again  jarringly  interrupted  her  own.  She  had 
taken  pains  to  buy  a  white  mouse  for  her  sister 
in  retribution,  and  though  inwardly  excusing  her- 
self on  the  ground  of  a  peculiar  sensitiveness 
which  was  a  mark  of  her  general  superiority,  the 
thought  of  that  infelonious  murder  had  always 
made  her  wince.  Gwendolen's  nature  was  not 
remorseless,  but  she  liked  to  make  her  penances 
easy,  and  now  that  she  was  twenty  and  more, 
some  of  her  native  force  had  turned  into  a  self- 
control  by  which  she  guarded  herself  from  peni- 
tential humiliation.  There  was  more  show  of  fire 
and  will  in  her  than  ever,  but  there  was  more 
calculation  underneath  it. 

On  this  day  of  arrival  at  OfPendene,  which  not 
even  Mrs  Davilow  had  seen  before — the  place 
having  been  taken  for  her  by  her  brother-in-law 
Mr  Gascoigne — when  all  had  got  down  from  the 
carriage,  and  were  standing  under  the  porch  in 
front  of  the  open  door,  so  that  they  could  have 
both  a  general  view  of  the  place  and  a  glimpse  of 
the  stone  hall  and  staircase  hung  with  sombre 
pictures,  but   enlivened  by  a  bright  wood  fire, 


no  one  spoke  :  mamma,  the  four  sisters,  and  the 
governess  all  looked  at  Gwendolen,  as  if  their  feel- 
ings depended  entirely  on  her  decision.  Of  the 
girls,  from  Alice  in  her  sixteenth  year  to  Isabel 
in  her  tenth,  hardly  anything  could  be  said  on  a 
first  view,  but  that  they  were  girlish,  and  that 
their  black  dresses  were  getting  shabby.  Miss 
Merry  was  elderly  and  altogether  neutral  in  ex- 
pression. Mrs  Davilow's  worn  beauty  seemed  the 
more  pathetic  for  the  look  of  entire  appeal  which 
she  cast  at  Gwendolen,  who  was  glancing  round 
at  the  house,  the  landscape,  and  the  entrance 
hall  with  an  air  of  rapid  judgment.  Imagine  a 
young  race-horse  in  the  paddock  among  un- 
trimmed  ponies  and  patient  hacks. 

"  Well,  dear,  what  do  you  think  of  the  place  ?" 
said  Mrs  Davilow  at  last,  in  a  gentle  deprecatory 

"  I  think  it  is  charming,"  said  Gwendolen, 
quickly.  "A  romantic  place;  anything  delightful 
may  happen  in  it ;  it  would  be  a  good  background 
for  anything.  No  one  need  be  ashamed  of  living 

"  There  is  certainly  nothing  common  about  it." 

"  Oh,  it  would  do  for  fallen  royalty  or  any  sort 
of  grand  poverty.  We  ought  properly  to  have 
been  living  in  splendour,  and  have  come  down  to 


this.  It  would  have  been  as  romantic  as  could 
be.  But  I  thought  my  uncle  and  aunt  Gascoigne 
would  be  here  to  meet  us,  and  my  cousin  Anna," 
added  Gwendolen,  her  tone  changed  to  sharp 

"  We  are  early,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  and  entering 
the  hall,  she  said  to  the  housekeeper  who  came 
forward,  "  You  expect  Mr  and  Mrs  Gascoigne  ? " 

"  Yes,  madam :  they  were  here  yesterday  to  give 
particular  orders  about  the  fires  and  the  dinner. 
But  as  to  fires,  IVe  had  'em  in  all  the  rooms  for 
the  last  week,  and  everything  is  well  aired.  I 
could  wish  some  of  the  furniture  paid  better  for 
all  the  cleaning  it's  had,  but  I  think  you'll  see  the 
brasses  have  been  done  justice  to.  I  think  when 
Mr  and  Mrs  Gascoigne  come,  they'll  tell  you 
nothing's  been  neglected.  They'll  be  here  at  five, 
for  certain." 

This  satisfied  Gwendolen,  who  was  not  prepared 
to  have  their  arrival  treated  with  indifference;  and 
after  tripping  a  little  way  up  the  matted  stone 
staircase  to  take  a  survey  there,  she  tripped  down 
again,  and  followed  by  all  the  girls  looked  into  each 
of  the  rooms  opening  from  the  hall — the  dining- 
room  all  dark  oak  and  worn  red  satin  damask, 
with  a  copy  of  snarling,  worrying  dogs  from 
Snyders  over  the  sideboard,  and  a  Christ  breaking 


bread  over  the  mantelpiece  ;  the  library  with  a 
general  aspect  and  smell  of  old  brown  leather; 
and  lastly,  the  drawing-room,  which  was  entered 
through  a  small  antechamber  crowded  with 
venerable  knick-knacks. 

"  Mamma,  mamma,  pray  come  here  ! "  said 
Gwendolen,  Mrs  Davilow  having  followed  slowly 
in  talk  with  the  housekeeper.  "  Here  is  an  organ. 
I  will  be  Saint  Cecilia ;  some  one  shall  paint  me 
as  Saint  Cecilia.  Jocosa  (this  was  her  name  for 
Miss  Merry),  let  down  my  hair.     See,  mamma ! " 

She  had  thrown  off  her  hat  and  gloves,  and 
seated  herself  before  the  organ  in  an  admirable 
pose,  looking  upward ;  while  the  submissive  and 
sad  Jocosa  took  out  the  one  comb  which  fastened 
the  coil  of  hair,  and  then  shook  out  the  mass  till 
it  fell  in  a  smooth  light-brown  stream  far  below 
its  owner's  slim  waist. 

Mrs  Davilow  smiled  and  said,  "A  charming 
picture,  my  dear!"  not  indifferent  to  the  display 
of  her  pet,  even  in  the  presence  of  a  housekeeper. 
Gwendolen  rose  and  laughed  with  delight.  All 
this  seemed  quite  to  the  purpose  on  entering  a 
new  house  which  was  so  excellent  a  background. 

"  What  a  queer,  quaint,  picturesque  room !"  she 
went  on,  looking  about  her.  "  I  like  these  old  em- 
broidered chairs,  and  the  garlands  on  the  wainscot, 


and  the  pictures  that  may  "be  anything.  That  one 
with  the  ribs — nothing  but  ribs  and  darkness — I 
should  think  that  is  Spanish,  mamma." 

"Oh  Gwendolen!"  said  the  small  Isabel,  in  a 
tone  of  astonishment,  while  she  held  open  a 
hinged  panel  of  the  wainscot  at  the  other  end 
of  the  room. 

Every  one,  Gwendolen  first,  went  to  look.  The 
opened  panel  had  disclosed  the  picture  of  an  up- 
turned dead  face,  from  which  an  obscure  figure 
seemed  to  be  fleeing  with  outstretched  arms. 
"  How  horrible  !"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  with  a  look  of 
mere  disgust;  but  Gwendolen  shuddered  silently, 
and  Isabel,  a  plain  and  altogether  inconvenient 
child  with  an  alarming  memory,  said — 

"  You  will  never  stay  in  this  room  by  yourself, 

"  How  dare  you  open  things  which  were  meant 
to  be  shut  up,  you  perverse  little  creature  ?"  said 
Gwendolen,  in  her  angriest  tone.  Then  snatching 
the  panel  out  of  the  hand  of  the  culprit,  she 
closed  it  hastily,  saying,  "  There  is  a  lock — where 
is  the  key  ?  Let  the.key  be  found,  or  else  let  one 
be  made,  and  let  nobody  open  it  again ;  or  rather, 
let  the  key  be  brought  to  me." 

At  this  command  to  everybody  in  general 
Gwendolen  turned  with  a  face  which  was  flushed 


in  reaction  from  her  chill  shudder,  and  said,  "  Let 
us  go  up  to  our  own  room,  mamma." 

The  housekeeper  on  searching  found  the  key  in 
the  drawer  of  a  cabinet  close  by  the  panel,  and 
presently  handed  it  to  Bugle,  the  lady's  maid, 
telling  her  significantly  to  give  it  to  her  Eoyal 

"  I  don't  know  who  you  mean,  Mrs  Startin," 
said  Bugle,  who  had  been  busy  up-stairs  during 
the  scene  in  the  drawing-room,  and  was  rather 
offended  at  this  irony  in  a  new  servant. 

"  I  mean  the  young  lady  that's  to  command  us 
all — and  well  worthy  for  looks  and  figure,"  replied 
Mrs  Startin  in  propitiation.  "  She'll  know  what 
key  it  is." 

"  If  you  have  laid  out  what  we  want,  go  and 
see  to  the  others,  Bugle,"  Gwendolen  had  said, 
when  she  and  Mrs  Davilow  entered  their  black 
and  yellow  bedroom,  where  a  pretty  little  white 
couch  was  prepared  by  the  side  of  the  black  and 
yellow  catafalque  known  as  'the  best  bed/  "I 
will  help  mamma." 

But  her  first  movement  was  to  go  to  the  tall 
mirror  between  the  windows,  which  reflected  her- 
self and  the  room  completely,  while  her  mamma 
sat  down  and  also  looked  at  the  reflection. 

"  That  is  a  becoming  glass,  Gwendolen;  or  is  it 


the  black  and  gold  colour  that  sets  you  off?"  said 
Mrs  Davilow,  as  Gwendolen  stood  obliquely  with 
her  three-quarter  face  turned  towards  the  mirror, 
and  her  left  hand  brushing  back  the  stream  of 

"  I  should  make  a  tolerable  Saint  Cecilia  with 
some  white  roses  on  my  head,"  said  Gwendolen, 
— "  only,  how  about  my  nose,  mamma  1  I  think 
saints'  noses  never  in  the  least  turn  up.  I  wish 
you  had  given  me  your  perfectly  straight  nose ;  it 
would  have  done  for  any  sort  of  character — a  nose 
of  all  work.  Mine  is  only  a  happy  nose;  it  would 
not  do  so  well  for  tragedy." 

"  Oh,  my  dear,  any  nose  will  do  to  be  miserable 
with  in  this  world,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  with  a 
deep,  weary  sigh,  throwing  her  black  bonnet  on 
the  table,  and  resting  her  elbow  near  it. 

"  Now,  mamma  ! "  said  Gwendolen  in  a  strongly 
remonstrant  tone,  turning  away  from  the  glass 
with  an  air  of  vexation,  "  don't  begin  to  be  dull 
here.  It  spoils  all  my  pleasure,  and  everything 
may  be  so  happy  now.  What  have  you  to  be 
gloomy  about  now  ?  " 

"  Nothing,  dear,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  seeming  to 
rouse  herself,  and  beginning  to  take  off  her  dress. 
"  It  is  always  enough  for  me  to  see  you  happy." 

"  But   you  should    be   happy  yourself,"   said 


Gwendolen,  still  discontentedly,  though  going  to 
help  her  mamma  with  caressing  touches.  "  Can 
nohody  be  happy  after  they  are  quite  young? 
You  have  made  me  feel  sometimes  as  if  nothing 
were  of  any  use.  With  the  girls  so  troublesome, 
and  Jocosa  so  dreadfully  wooden  and  ugly,  and 
everything  make-shift  about  us,  and  you  looking 
so  dull — what  was  the  use  of  my  being  anything  ? 
But  now  you  might  be  happy." 

"  So  I  shall,  dear,"  said  Mrs  Davilow^,  patting  the 
cheek  that  was  bending  near  her. 

"Yes,  but  really.  Not  with  a  sort  of  make- 
believe,"  said  Gwendolen  with  resolute  persever- 
ance. "  See  what  a  hand  and  arm  ! — much  more 
beautiful  than  mine.  Any  one  can  see  you  were 
altogether  more  beautiful." 

"  jtTo,  no,  dear.  I  was  always  heavier.  Never 
half  so  charming  as  you  are." 

"  Well,  but  what  is  the  use  of  my  being  charm- 
ing, if  it  is  to  end  in  my  being  dull  and  not 
minding  anything  ?  Is  that  what  marriage  always 
comes  to  ? " 

"  No,  child,  certainly  not.  Marriage  is  the  only 
happy  state  for  a  woman,  as  I  trust  you  will 

"  I  will  not  put  up  with  it  if  it  is  not  a  happy 
state.    I  am  determined  to  be  happy — at  least  not 


to  go  on  muddling  away  my  life  as  other  people 

do,  being  and  doing  nothing  remarkable.     I  have 

made  np  my  mind  not  to  let  other  people  interfere 

with  me  as  they  have  done.     Here  is  some  warm 

water  ready  for  you,  mamma,"  Gwendolen  ended, 

proceeding  to  take  off  her  own  dress  and  then 

waiting  to  have  her  hair  wound  up  by  her  mamma. 

There  was  silence  for  a  minute  or  two,  till  Mrs 

Davilow  said,  while  coiling  the  daughter's  hair, 

"  I  am  sure  I  have  never  crossed  you,  Gwendolen." 

"  You  often  want  me  to  do  what  T  don't  like." 

"  You  mean,  to  give  Alice  lessons  ? " 

"  Yes.     And  I  have  done  it  because  you  asked 

me.     But  I  don't  see  why  I  should,  else.     It  bores 

me  to  death,  she  is  so  slow.     She  has  no  ear  for 

music,  or  language,  or  anything  else.     It  would 

be  much  better  for  her  to  be  ignorant,  mamma : 

it  is  her  rSle,  she  would  do  it  well." 

"  That  is  a  hard  thing  to  say  of  your  poor  sister, 
Gwendolen,  who  is  so  good  to  you,  and  waits  on 
you  hand  and  foot." 

"  I  don't  see  why  it  is  hard  to  call  things  by 
their  right  names  and  put  them  in  their  proper 
places.  The  hardship  is  for  me  to  have  to  waste 
my  time  on  her.  Now  let  me  fasten  up  your  hair, 

"  We  must  make  haste.     Your  uncle  and  aunt 


will  be  here  soon.  For  heaven's  sake,  don't  be 
scornful  to  them,  my  dear  child,  or  to  your  cousin 
Anna,  whom  you  will  always  be  going  out  with. 
Do  promise  me,  Gwendolen.  You  know,  you 
can't  expect  Anna  to  be  equal  to  you.'' 

"  I  don't  want  her  to  be  equal,"  said  Gwendolen, 
with  a  toss  of  her  head  and  a  smile,  and  the  dis- 
cussion ended  there. 

When  Mr  and  Mrs  Gascoigne  and  their  daugh- 
ter came,  Gwendolen,  far  from  being  scornful, 
behaved  as  prettily  as  possible  to  them.  She  was 
introducing  herself  anew  to  relatives  who  had  not 
seen  her  since  the  comparatively  unfinished  age 
of  sixteen,  and  she  was  anxious — no,  not  anxious, 
but  resolved  that  they  should  admire  her. 

Mrs  Gascoigne  bore  a  family  likeness  to  her 
sister.  But  she  was  darker  and  slighter,  her  face 
was  unworn  by  grief,  her  movements  were  less 
languid,  her  expression  more  alert  and  critical  as 
that  of  a  rector's  wife  bound  to  exert  a  beneficent 
authority.  Their  closest  resemblance  lay  in  a 
non-resistant  disposition,  inclined  to  imitation 
and  obedience ;  but  this,  owing  to  the  difierence 
in  their  circumstances,  had  led  them  to  very  dif- 
ferent issues.  The  younger  sister  had  been  indis- 
creet, or  at  least  unfortunate  in  her  marriages ; 
the  elder  believed  herself  the  most  enviable  of 


wives,  and  her  pliancy  had  ended  in  her  some- 
times taking  shapes  of  surprising  definiteness. 
Many  of  her  opinions,  such  as  those  on  church 
government  and  the  character  of  Archbishop  Laud, 
seemed  too  decided  under  every  alteration  to  have 
been  arrived  at  otherwise  than  by  a  wifely  recep- 
tiveness.  And  there  was  much  to  encourage 
trust  in  her  husband's  authority.  He  had  some 
agreeable  virtues,  some  striking  advantages,  and 
the  failings  that  were  imputed  to  him  all  leaned 
toward  the  side  of  success. 

One  of  his  advantages  was  a  fine  person,  which 
perhaps  was  even  more  impressive  at  fifty-seven 
than  it  had  been  earlier  in  life.  There  were  no 
distinctively  clerical  lines  in  the  face,  no  official 
reserve  or  ostentatious  benignity  of  expression, 
no  tricks  of  starchiness  or  of  affected  ease  :  in  his 
Inverness  cape  he  could  not  have  been  identified 
except  as  a  gentleman  with  handsome  dark  feat- 
ures, a  nose  which  began  with  an  intention  to  be 
aquiline  but  suddenly  became  straight,  and  iron- 
grey  hair.  Perhaps  he  owed  this  freedom  from 
the  sort  of  professional  make-up  which  penetrates 
skin  tones  and  gestures  and  defies  all  drapery,  to 
the  fact  that  he  had  once  been  Captain  Gaskin, 
having  taken  orders  and  a  diphthong  but  shortly 
before  his  engagement  to  Miss  Armyn.     If  any 


one  had  objected  that  his  preparation  for  the 
clerical  function  was  inadequate,  his  friends  might 
have  asked  who  made  a  better  figure  in  it,  who 
preached  better  or  had  more  authority  in  his 
parish  ?  He  had  a  native  gift  for  administration, 
being  tolerant  both  of  opinions  and  conduct,  be- 
cause he  felt  himself  able  to  overrule  them,  and 
was  free  from  the  irritations  of  conscious  feeble- 
ness. He  smiled  pleasantly  at  the  foible  of  a 
taste  which  he  did  not  share — at  floriculture  or 
antiquarianism  for  example,  which  were  much  in 
vogue  among  his  fellow-clergymen  in  the  diocese : 
for  himself,  he  preferred  following  the  history  of 
a  campaign,  or  divining  from  his  knowledge  of 
Nesselrode's  motives  what  would  have  been  his 
conduct  if  our  cabinet  had  taken  a  different 
course.  Mr  Gascoigne's  tone  of  thinking  after 
some  long-quieted  fluctuations  had  become  eccle- 
siastical rather  than  theological ;  not  the  modern 
Anglican,  but  what  he  would  have  called  sound 
English,  free  from  nonsense :  such  as  became  a 
man  who  looked  at  a  national  religion  by  day- 
light, and  saw  it  in  its  relations  to  other  things. 
No  clerical  magistrate  had  greater  weight  at 
sessions,  or  less  of  mischievous  impracticableness 
in  relation  to  worldly  affairs.  Indeed,  the  worst 
imputation  thrown  out  against  him  was  worldli- 


ness :  it  could  not  be  proved  that  he  forsook  the 
less  fortunate,  but  it  was  not  to  be  denied  that 
the  friendships  he  cultivated  were  of  a  kind 
likely  to  be  useful  to  the  father  of  six  sons  and 
two  daughters ;  and  bitter  observers — for  in 
Wessex,  say  ten  years  ago,  there  were  persons 
whose  bitterness  may  now  seem  incredible — re- 
marked that  the  colour  of  his  opinions  had 
changed  in  consistency  with  this  principle  of 
action.  But  cheerful,  successful  worldliness  has 
a  false  air  of  being  more  selfish  than  the  acrid, 
unsuccessful  kind,  whose  secret  history  is  summed 
up  in  the  terrible  words,  "  Sold,  but  not  paid  for." 

Gwendolen  wondered  that  she  had  not  better 
remembered  how  very  fine  a  man  her  uncle  was ; 
but  at  the  age  of  sixteen  she  was  a  less  capable  and 
more  indifferent  judge.  At  present  it  was  a  mat- 
ter of  extreme  interest  to  her  that  she  was  to  have 
the  near  countenance  of  a  dignified  male  relative, 
and  that  the  family  life  would  cease  to  be  entirely, 
insipidly  feminine.  She  did  not  intend  that  her 
uncle  should  control  her,  but  she  saw  at  once  that 
it  would  be  altogether  agreeable  to  her  that  he 
should  be  proud  of  introducing  her  as  his  niece. 
And  there  was  every  sign  of  his  being  likely  to 
feel  that  pride.  He  certainly  looked  at  her  with 
admiration  as  he  said — 

VOL.  I.  D 


"You  have  outgrown  Anna,  my  dear,"  putting 
his  arm  tenderly  round  his  daughter,  whose  shy 
face  was  a  tiny  copy  of  his  own,  and  drawing  her 
forward.  "She  is  not  so  old  as  you  by  a  year, 
but  her  growing  days  are  certainly  over.  I  hope 
you  will  be  excellent  companions." 

He  did  give  a  comparing  glance  at  his  daugh- 
ter, but  if  he  saw  her  inferiority  he  might  also 
see  that  Anna's  timid  appearance  and  miniature 
figure  must  appeal  to  a  different  taste  from  that 
which  was  attracted  by  Gwendolen,  and  that  the 
girls  could  hardly  be  rivals.  Gwendolen,  at  least, 
was  aware  of  this,  and  kissed  her  cousin  with  real 
cordiality  as  well  as  grace,  saying,  "  A  companion 
is  just  what  I  want.  I  am  so  glad  we  are  come 
to  live  here.  And  mamma  will  be  much  happier 
now  she  is  near  you,  aunt." 

The  aunt  trusted  indeed  that  it  would  be  so, 
and  felt  it  a  blessing  that  a  suitable  home  had 
been  vacant  in  their  uncle's  parish.  Then,  of 
course,  notice  had  to  be  taken  of  the  four  other 
girls  whom  Gwendolen  had  always  felt  to  be 
superfluous :  all  of  a  girlish  average  that  made 
four  units  utterly  unimportant,  and  yet  from  her 
earliest  days  an  obtrusive  influential  fact  in  her 
life.  She  was  conscious  of  having  been  much 
kinder  to  them  than  could  have  been  expected. 


And  it  was  evident  to  her  that  her  uncle  and  aunt 
also  felt  it  a  pity  there  were  so  many  girls : — what 
rational  person  could  feel  otherwise,  except  poor 
mamma,  who  never  would  see  how  Alice  set  up 
her  shoulders  and  lifted  her  eyebrows  till  she 
had  no  forehead  left,  how  Bertha  and  Fanny 
whispered  and  tittered  together  about  everything, 
or  how  Isabel  was  always  listening  and  staring 
and  forgetting  where  she  was,  and  treading  on  the 
toes  of  her  suffering  elders. 

"You  have  brothers,  Anna,"  said  Gwendolen, 
while  the  sisters  were  being  noticed.  "  I  think 
you  are  enviable  there." 

"  Yes,"  said  Anna,  simply,  "  I  am  very  fond  of 
them.  But  of  course  their  education  is  a  great 
anxiety  to  papa.  He  used  to  say  they  made  me 
a  tomboy.  I  really  was  a  great  romp  with  Eex. 
I  think  you  will  like  Eex.  He  will  come  home 
before  Christmas." 

"  I  remember  I  used  to  think  you  rather  wild 
and  shy.  But  it  is  difficult  now  to  imagine  you 
a  romp,"  said  Gwendolen,  smiling. 

"  Of  course  I  am  altered  now  ;  I  am  come  out, 
and  all  that.  But  in  reality  I  like  to  go  black- 
berrying  with  Edwy  and  Lotta  as  well  as  ever. 
I  am  not  very  fond  of  going  out ;  but  I  daresay  I 
shall  like  it  better  now  you  will  be  often  with 


me.  I  am  not  at  all  clever,  and  I  never  know 
what  to  say.  It  seems  so  useless  to  say  what 
everybody  knows,  and  I  can  think  of  nothing  else, 
except  what  papa  says." 

"  I  shall  like  going  out  with  you  very  much," 
said  Gwendolen,  well  disposed  towards  this  nawe 
cousin.     "  Are  you  fond  of  riding  ? " 

"Yes,  but  we  have  only  one  Shetland  pony 
amongst  us.  Papa  says  he  can't  afford  more, 
besides  the  carriage-horses  and  his  own  nag.  He 
has  so  many  expenses." 

"  I  intend  to  have  a  horse  and  ride  a  great  deal 
now,"  said  Gwendolen,  in  a  tone  of  decision.  "  Is 
the  society  pleasant  in  this  neighbourhood  ? " 

"  Papa  says  it  is,  very.  There  are  the  clergymen 
all  about,  you  know  ;  and  the  Quallons  and  the 
Arrowpoints,  and  Lord  Brackenshaw,  and  Sir  Hugo 
Mallinger's  place  where  there  is  nobody — that's 
very  nice,  because  we  make  picnics  there — and 
two  or  three  families  at  Wancester ;  oh,  and  old 
Mrs  Vulcany  at  Nuttingwood,  and " 

But  Anna  was  relieved  of  this  tax  on  her  de- 
scriptive powers  by  the  announcement  of  dinner, 
and  Gwendolen's  question  was  soon  indirectly 
answered  by  her  uncle,  who  dwelt  much  on  the 
advantages  he  had  secured  for  them  in  getting  a 
place  like  Offendene.    Except  the  rent,  it  involved 


no  more  expense  than  an  ordinary  house  at  Wan- 
cester  would  have  done. 

"  And  it  is  always  worth  while  to  make  a  little 
sacrifice  for  a  good  style  of  house,"  said  Mr 
Gascoigne,  in  his  easy,  pleasantly  confident  tone, 
which  made  the  world  in  general  seem  a  very 
manageable  place  of  residence.  "Especially 
where  there  is  only  a  lady  at  the  head.  All  the 
best  people  will  call  upon  you ;  and  you  need 
give  no  expensive  dinners.  Of  course  I  have  to 
spend  a  good  deal  in  that  way  ;  it  is  a  large  item. 
But  then  I  get  my  house  for  nothing.  If  I  had 
to  pay  three  hundred  a-year  for  my  house  I  could 
not  keep  a  table.  My  boys  are  too  great  a  drain 
on  me.  You  are  better  ofi"  than  we  are,  in  pro- 
portion ;  there  is  no  great  drain  on  you  now,  after 
your  house  and  carriage." 

"  I  assure  you,  Fanny,  now  the  children  are 
growing  up,  I  am  obliged  to  cut  and  contrive," 
said  Mrs  Gascoigne.  "  I  am  not  a  good  manager 
by  nature,  but  Henry  has  taught  me.  He  is 
wonderful  for  making  the  best  of  everything ;  he 
allows  himself  no  extras,  and  gets  his  curates  for 
nothing.  It  is  rather  hard  that  he  has  not  been 
made  a  prebendary  or  something,  as  others  have 
been,  considering  the  friends  he  has  made,  and  the 
need  there  is  for  men  of  moderate  opinions  in  aU 


respects.  If  the  Church  is  to  keep  its  position, 
ability  and  character  ought  to  tell." 

"  Oh,  my  dear  Nancy,  you  forget  the  old  story — 
thank  Heaven,  there  are  three  hundred  as  good 
as  I.  And  ultimately  we  shall  have  no  reason  to 
complain,  I  am  pretty  sure.  There  could  hardly 
be  a  more  thorough  friend  than  Lord  Brackenshaw, 
your  landlord,  you  know,  Fanny.  Lady  Bracken- 
shaw will  call  upon  you.  And  I  have  spoken  for 
Gwendolen  to  be  a  member  of  our  Archery  Club 
— the  Brackenshaw  Archery  Club — the  most 
select  thing  anywhere.  That  is,  if  she  has  no 
objection,"  added  Mr  Gascoigne,  looking  at  Gwen- 
dolen with  pleasant  irony. 

"  I  should  like  it  of  all  things,"  said  Gwendolen. 
"  There  is  nothing  I  enjoy  more  than  taking  aim 
— and  hitting,"  she  ended,  with  a  pretty  nod  and 

"  Our  Anna,  poor  child,  is  too  short-sighted  for 
archery.  But  I  consider  myself  a  first-rate  shot, 
and  you  shall  practise  with  me.  I  must  make 
you  an  accomplished  archer  before  our  great 
meeting  in  July.  In  fact,  as  to  neighbourhood, 
you  could  hardly  be  better  placed.  There  are  the 
Arrowpoints — they  are  some  of  our  best  people. 
Miss  Arrowpoint  is  a  delightful  girl: — she  has 
been  presented  at  court.     They  have  a  magnifi- 


cent  place — Quetcham  Hall — worth  seeing  in 
point  of  art ;  and  their  parties,  to  which  you  are 
sure  to  be  invited,  are  the  best  things  of  the  sort 
we  have.  The  archdeacon  is  intimate  there,  and 
they  have  always  a  good  kind  of  people  staying  in 
the  house.  Mrs  Arrowpoint  is  peculiar,  certainly; 
something  of  a  caricature,  in  fact ;  but  well-mean- 
ing. And  Miss  Arrowpoint  is  as  nice  as  possible. 
It  is  not  all  young  ladies  who  have  mothers  as 
handsome  and  graceful  as  yours  and  Anna's." 

Mrs  Davilow  smiled  faintly  at  this  little  com- 
pliment, but  the  husband  and  wife  looked  affec- 
tionately at  each  other,  and  Gwendolen  thought, 
"  My  uncle  and  aunt,  at  least,  are  happy  ;  they 
are  not  dull  and  dismal."  Altogether,  she  felt 
satisfied  with  her  prospects  at  Offendene,  as  a 
great  improvement  on  anything  she  had  known. 
Even  the  cheap  curates,  she  incidentally  learned, 
were  almost  always  young  men  of  family,  and  Mr 
Middleton,  the  actual  curate,  was  said  to  be  quite 
an  acquisition  :  it  was  only  a  pity  he  was  so  soon 
to  leave. 

But  there  was  one  point  which  she  was  so 
anxious  to  gain  that  she  could  not  allow  the  even- 
ing to  pass  without  taking  her  measures  towards 
securing  it.  Her  mamma,  she  knew,  intended  to 
submit  entirely  to  her  uncle's  judgment  with  re- 


gard  to  expenditure  ;  and  the  submission  was  not 
merely  prudential,  for  Mrs  Davilow,  conscious 
that  she  had  always  been  seen  under  a  cloud  as 
poor  dear  Fanny,  who  had  made  a  sad  blunder 
with  her  second  marriage,  felt  a  hearty  satisfaction 
in  being  frankly  and  cordially  identified  with  her 
sister's  family,  and  in  having  her  affairs  canvassed 
and  managed  with  an  authority  which  presupposed 
a  genuine  interest.  Thus  the  question  of  a  suit- 
able saddle-horse,  which  had  been  sufficiently  dis- 
cussed with  mamma,  had  to  be  referred  to  Mr 
Gascoigne ;  and  after  Gwendolen  had  played  on 
the  piano,  which  had  been  provided  from  Wances- 
ter,  had  sung  to  her  hearers'  admiration,  and  had 
induced  her  uncle  to  join  her  in  a  duet — what 
more  softening  influence  than  this  on  any  uncle 
who  would  have  sung  finely  if  his  time  had  not 
been  too  much  taken  up  by  graver  matters  ? — she 
seized  the  opportune  moment  for  saying,  "Mamma, 
you  have  not  spoken  to  my  uncle  about  my 

"  Gwendolen  desires  above  all  things  to  have  a 
horse  to  ride — a  pretty,  light,  lady's  horse,"  said 
Mrs  Davilow,  looking  at  Mr  Gascoigne.  "  Do  you 
think  we  can  manage  it  ? " 

Mr  Gascoigne  projected  his  lower  lip  and  lifted 
his  handsome   eyebrows   sarcastically  at  Gwen- 


dolen,  who  had  seated  herself  with  much  grace 
on  the  elbow  of  her  mamma's  chair. 

"  We  could  lend  her  the  pony  sometimes,"  said 
Mrs  Gascoigne,  watching  her  husband's  face,  and 
feeling  quite  ready  to  disapprove  if  he  did. 

"  That  might  be  inconveniencing  others,  aunt, 
and  would  be  no  pleasure  to  me.  I  cannot  endure 
ponies,"  said  Gwendolen.  "  I  would  rather  give 
up  some  other  indulgence  and  have  a  horse." 
(Was  there  ever  a  young  lady  or  gentleman  not 
ready  to  give  up  an  unspecified  indulgence  for 
the  sake  of  the  favourite  one  specified  ?) 

"  She  rides  so  well.  She  has  had  lessons,  and 
the  riding-master  said  she  had  so  good  a  seat  and 
hand  she  might  be  trusted  with  any  mount,"  said 
Mrs  Davilow,  who,  even  if  she  had  not  wished  her 
darling  to  have  the  horse,  would  not  have  dared 
to  be  lukewarm  in  trying  to  get  it  for  her. 

"  There  is  the  price  of  the  horse — a  good  sixty 
with  the  best  chance,  and  then  his  keep,"  said 
Mr  Gascoigne,  in  a  tone  which,  though  demurring, 
betrayed  the  inward  presence  of  something  that 
favoured  the  demand.  "There  are  the  carriage- 
horses — already  a  heavy  item.  And  remember 
what  you  ladies  cost  in  toilette  now." 

"  I  really  wear  nothing  but  two  black  dresses," 
said  Mrs  Davilow,  hastily.     "  And  the  younger 


girls,  of  course,  require  no  toilette  at  present. 
Besides,  Gwendolen  will  save  me  so  much  by 
giving  her  sisters  lessons."  Here  Mrs  Davilow's 
delicate  cheek  showed  a  rapid  blush.  "  If  it  were 
not  for  that,  I  must  really  have  a  more  expensive 
governess,  and  masters  besides." 

Gwendolen  felt  some  anger  with  her  mamma, 
but  carefully  concealed  it. 

"  That  is  good — that  is  decidedly  good,"  said 
Mr  Gascoigne,  heartily,  looking  at  his  wife.  And 
Gwendolen,  who,  it  must  be  owned,  was  a  deep 
young  lady,  suddenly  moved  away  to  the  other 
end  of  the  long  drawing-room,  and  busied  herself 
with  arranging  pieces  of  music. 

"  The  dear  child  has  had  no  indulgences,  no 
pleasures,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  in  a  pleading  under- 
tone. "  I  feel  the  expense  is  rather  imprudent 
in  this  first  year  of  our  settling.  But  she  really 
needs  the  exercise — she  needs  cheering.  And  if 
you  were  to  see  her  on  horseback,  it  is  something 

"It  is  what  we  could  not  afford  for  Anna," 
said  Mrs  Gascoigne.  "  But  she,  dear  child,  would 
ride  Lotta's  donkey,  and  think  it  good  enough." 
(Anna  was  absorbed  in  a  game  with  Isabel,  who 
had  hunted  out  an  old  backgammon-board,  and 
had  begged  to  sit  up  an  extra  hour.) 


"  Certainly,  a  fine  woman  never  looks  better 
than  on  horseback,"  said  Mr  Gascoigne.  "And 
Gwendolen  has  the  figure  for  it.  I  don't  say  the 
thing  should  not  be  considered." 

"  We  might  try  it  for  a  time,  at  all  events.  It 
can  be  given  up,  if  necessary,"  said  Mrs  Davilow. 

"  Well,  I  will  consult  Lord  Brackenshaw's 
head  groom.  He  is  my  fidus  Achates  in  the 
horsey  way." 

"  Thanks,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  much  relieved. 
"  You  are  very  kind." 

"  That  he  always  is,"  said  Mrs  Gascoigne.  And 
later  that  night,  when  she  and  her  husband  were 
in  private,  she  said — 

"  I  thought  you  were  almost  too  indulgent 
about  the  horse  for  Gwendolen.  She  ought  not 
to  claim  so  much  more  than  your  own  daughter 
would  think  of.  Especially  before  we  see  how 
Fanny  manages  on  her  income.  And  you  really 
have  enough  to  do  without  taking  all  this  trouble 
on  yourself." 

"  My  dear  Nancy,  one  must  look  at  things  from 
every  point  of  view.  This  girl  is  really  worth 
some  expense :  you  don't  often  see  her  equal. 
She  ought  to  make  a  first-rate  marriage,  and  I 
should  not  be  doing  my  duty  if  I  spared  my 
trouble  in  helping  her  forward.     You  know  your- 


self  she  has  been  under  a  disadvantage  with  such 
a  father-in-law,  and  a  second  family,  keeping  her 
always  in  the  shade.  I  feel  for  the  girL  And 
I  should  like  your  sister  and  her  family  now  to 
have  the  benefit  of  your  ha^^ng  married  rather  a 
better  specimen  of  our  kind  than  she  did." 

*•  £ather  better !  I  should  think  so.  However, 
it  is  for  me  to  be  gratefol  that  you  will  take  so 
much  on  your  shoulders  for  the  sake  of  my  sister 
and  her  children.  I  am  sure  I  would  not  grudge 
anything  to  poor  Fanny.  But  there  is  one  thing 
I  have  been  thinking  of,  though  you  -have  never 
mentioned  it" 

"  What  is  that?" 

"  The  boys.  I  hope  they  will  not  be  falling  in 
love  with  Gwendolen- ** 

"Don't  presuppose  anything  of  the  kind,  my 
dear,  and  there  wiU  be  no  danger.  Eex  will 
never  be  at  home  for  long  together,  and  Warham 
is  going  to  India.  It  is  the  wiser  plan  to  take  it 
for  granted  that  cousins  will  not  fall  in  love.  If 
you  begin  with  precautions,  the  affair  will  come 
in  spite  of  them.  One  must  not  undertake  to 
act  for  Providence  in  these  matters,  which  can 
no  more  be  held  under  the  hand  than  a  brood 
of  chickens.  The  boys  will  have  nothing,  and 
Gwendolen  wiU  have  nothing.    They  can't  marr}-. 


At  the  worst  there  would  only  be  a  little  crying, 
and  you  can't  save  boys  and  girls  from  that." 

Mrs  Gascoigne's  mind  was  satisfied :  if  any- 
thing did  happen,  there  was  the  comfort  of  feeling 
that  her  husband  would  know  what  was  to  be 
done,  and  would  have  the  enei^  to  do  it 



"  Oorgibus.— . .  .  Je  te  dis  que  le  manage  est  une  chose  sainte  et  sacrfee, 
et'que  c'est  faire  en  honnStes  gens,  que  de  d6buter  par  li. 

"  Madelo7i.  — Mon  Dieu  !  que  si  tout  le  monde  vous  ressemblait,  un  roman 

serait  bientot  fini  I    La  belle  chose  que  ce  serait,  si  d'abord  Cyrus  6pousait 

Mandane,  et  qu'Aronce  de  plain-pied  flit  iaari6  k  Clelie  I  .  .  .  Laissez-nous 

faire  k  loisir  le  tissu  de  notre  roman,  et  n'en  pressez  pas  tantla  conclusion." 

— MoLiERE  :  Les  Pr6cieuses  Ridicules. 

It  would  be  a  little  hard  to  blame  the  Eector  of 
Pennicote  that  in  the  course  of  looking  at  things 
from  every  point  of  view,  he  looked  at  Gwendolen 
as  a  girl  likely  to  make  a  brilliant  marriage. 
Why  should  he  be  expected  to  differ  from  his 
contemporaries  in  this  matter,  and  wish  his  niece 
a  worse  end  of  her  charming  maidenhood  than 
they  would  approve  as  the  best  possible  ?  It  is 
rather  to  be  set  down  to  his  credit  that  his  feelings 
on  the  subject  were  entirely  good-natured.  And 
in  considering  the  relation  of  means  to  ends,  it 
would  have  been  mere  folly  to  have  been  guided 
by  the  exceptional  and  idyllic — to  have  recom- 
mended that  Gwendolen  should  wear  a  gown  as 


shabby  as  Griselda's  in  order  that  a  marquis 
might  fall  in  love  with  her,  or  to  have  insisted 
that  since  a  fair  maiden  was  to  be  sought,  she 
should  keep  herself  out  of  the  way.  Mr  Gas- 
coigne's  calculations  were  of  the  kind  called 
rational,  and  he  did  not  even  think  of  getting  a 
too  frisky  horse  in  order  that  Gwendolen  might 
be  threatened  with  an  accident  and  be  rescued  by 
a  man  of  property.  He  wished  his  niece  well, 
and  he  meant  her  to  be  seen  to  advantage  in  the 
best  society  of  the  neighbourhood. 

Her  uncle's  intention  fell  in  perfectly  with 
Gwendolen's  own  wishes.  But  let  no  one  suppose 
that  she  also  contemplated  a  brilliant  marriage  as 
the  direct  end  of  her  witching  the  world  with  her 
grace  on  horseback,  or  with  any  other  accomplish- 
ment. That  she  was  to  be  married  some  time  or 
other  she  would  have  felt  obliged  to  admit ;  and 
that  her  marriage  would  not  be  of  a  middling  kind, 
such  as  most  girls  were  contented  with,  she  felt 
quietly,  unargumentatively  sure.  But  her  thoughts 
never  dwelt  on  marriage  as  the  fulfilment  of  her 
ambition ;  the  dramas  in  which  she  imagined  her- 
self a  heroine  were  not  wrought  up  to  that  close. 
To  be  very  much  sued  or  hopelessly  sighed  for  as 
a  bride  was  indeed  an  indispensable  and  agree- 
able guarantee  of  womanly  power ;  but  to  become 


a  wife  and  wear  all  the  domestic  fetters  of  that 
condition,  was  on  the  whole  a  vexatious  necessity. 
Her  observation  of  matrimony  had  inclined  her  to 
think  it  rather  a  dreary  state,  in  which  a  woman 
could  not  do  what  she  liked,  had  more  children 
than  were  desirable,  was  consequently  dull,  and 
became  irrevocably  immersed  in  humdrum.  Of 
course  marriage  was  social  promotion ;  she  could 
not  look  forward  to  a  single  life ;  but  promotions 
have  sometimes  to  be  taken  with  bitter  herbs — a 
peerage  will  not  quite  do  instead  of  leadership  to 
the  man  who  meant  to  lead;  and  this  delicate- 
limbed  sylph  of  twenty  meant  to  lead.  For  such 
passions  dwell  in  feminine  breasts  also.  In  Gwen- 
dolen's, however,  they  dwelt  among  strictly  femi- 
nine furniture,  and  had  no  disturbing  reference  to 
the  advancement  of  learning  or  the  balance  of  the 
constitution  ;  her  knowledge  being  such  as  with  no 
sort  of  standing-room  or  length  of  lever  could  have 
been  expected  to  move  the  world.  She  meant  to 
do  what  was  pleasant  to  herself  in  a  striking  man- 
ner; or  rather,  whatever  she  could  do  so  as  to 
strike  others  with  admiration  and  get  in  that  re- 
flected way  a  more  ardent  sense  of  living,  seemed 
pleasant  to  her  fancy. 

"  Gwendolen  will  not  rest  without  having  the 
world  at  her  feet,"  said   Miss   Merry,  the  meek 


governess  : — hyperbolical  words  which  have  long 
come  to  carry  the  most  moderate  meanings ;  for 
who  has  not  heard  of  private  persons  having  the 
world  at  their  feet  in  the  shape  of  some  half-dozen 
items  of  flattering  regard  generally  known  in  a 
genteel  suburb  ?  And  words  could  hardly  be  too 
wide  or  vague  to  indicate  the  prospect  that  made 
a  hazy  largeness  about  poor  Gwendolen  on  the 
heights  of  her  young  self  -  exultation.  Other 
people  allowed  themselves  to  be  made  slaves  of, 
and  to  have  their  lives  blown  hither  and  thither 
like  empty  ships  in  which  no  will  was  present :  it 
was  not  to  be  so  with  her,  she  would  no  longer  be 
sacrificed  to  creatures  worth  less  than  herself,  but 
would  make  the  very  best  of  the  chances  that  life 
offered  her,  and  conquer  circumstance  by  her  ex- 
ceptional cleverness.  Certainly,  to  be  settled  at 
Offendene,  with  the  notice  of  Lady  Brackenshaw, 
the  archery  club,  and  invitations  to  dine  with  the 
Arrowpoints,  as  the  highest  lights  in  her  scenery, 
was  not  a  position  that  seemed  to  offer  remark- 
able chances;  but  Gwendolen's  confidence  lay 
chiefly  in  herself.  She  felt  well  equipped  for  the 
mastery  of  life.  With  regard  to  much  in  her  lot 
hitherto,  she  held  herself  rather  hardly  dealt  with, 
but  as  to  her  "  education "  she  would  have  ad- 
mitted that  it  had  left  her  under  no  disadvantages. 
VOL.  L  K 


In  the  schoolroom  her  quick  mind  had  taken 
readily  that  strong  starch  of  unexplained  rules 
and  disconnected  facts  which  saves  ignorance  from 
any  painful  sense  of  limpness ;  and  what  remained 
of  all  things  knowable,  she  was  conscious  of  being 
sufficiently  acquainted  with  through  novels,  plays, 
and  poems.  About  her  French  and  music,  the 
two  justifying  accomplishments  of  a  young  lady, 
she  felt  no  ground  for  uneasiness ;  and  when  to 
all  these  qualifications,  negative  and  positive,  we 
add  the  spontaneous  sense  of  capability  some 
happy  persons  are  born  with,  so  that  any  subject 
they  turn  attention  to  impresses  them  with  their 
own  power  of  forming  a  correct  judgment  on  it, 
who  can  wonder  if  Gwendolen  felt  ready  to  manage 
her  own  destiny? 

There  were  many  subjects  in  the  world — per- 
haps the  majority — in  which  she  felt  no  interest, 
because  they  were  stupid  ;  for  subjects  are  apt  to 
appear  stupid  to  the  young  as  light  seems  dim  to 
the  old ;  but  she  would  not  have  felt  at  all  help- 
less in  relation  to  them  if  they  had  turned  up  in 
conversation.  It  must  be  remembered  that  no 
one  had  disputed  her  power  or  her  general  supe- 
riority. As  on  the  arrival  at  Offendene,  so  always, 
the  first  thought  of  those  about  her  had  been, 
what  will  Gwendolen  think  ? — if  the  footman  trod 


heavily  in  creaking  boots  or  if  the  laundress's 
work  was  unsatisfactory,  the  maid  said  "  This  will 
never  do  for  Miss  Harleth ; "  if  the  wood  smoked 
in  the  bedroom  fireplace,  Mrs  Davilow,  whose  own 
weak  eyes  suffered  much  from  this  inconvenience, 
spoke  apologetically  of  it  to  Gwendolen.  If,  when 
they  were  under  the  stress  of  travelling,  she  did 
not  appear  at  the  breakfast-table  till  every  one 
else  had  finished,  the  only  question  was,  how 
Gwendolen's  coffee  and  toast  should  still  be  of 
the  hottest  and  crispest ;  and  when  she  appeared 
with  her  freshly-brushed  light-brown  hair  stream- 
ing backward  and  awaiting  her  mamma's  hand  to 
coil  it  up,  her  long  brown  eyes  glancing  bright  as 
a  wave- washed  onyx  from  under  their  long  lashes, 
it  was  always  she  herself  who  had  to  be  tolerant 
— to  beg  that  Alice  who  sat  waiting  on  her  would 
not  stick  up  her  shoulders  in  that  frightful  man- 
ner, and  that  Isabel  instead  of  pushing  up  to  her 
and  asking  questions  would  go  away  to  Miss 

Always  she  was  the  princess  in  exile,  who  in 
time  of  famine  was  to  have  her  breakfast-roll 
made  of  the  finest-bolted  flour  from  the  seven 
thin  ears  of  wheat,  and  in  a  general  decampment 
was  to  have  her  silver  fork  kept  out  of  the  bag- 
gage.    How  was  this  to  be  accounted  for  ?    The 


answer  may  seem  to  lie  quite  on  the  surface : — 
in  her  beauty,  a  certain  unusualness  about  her, 
a  decision  of  will  which  made  itself  felt  in  her 
graceful  movements  and  clear  unhesitating  tones, 
so  that  if  she  came  into  the  room  on  a  rainy  day 
when  everybody  else  was  flaccid  and  the  use  of 
things  in  general  was  not  apparent  to  them,  there 
seemed  to  be  a  sudden,  sufficient  reason  for  keep- 
ing up  the  forms  of  life ;  and  even  the  waiters  at 
hotels  showed  the  more  alacrity  in  doing  away 
with  crumbs  and  creases  and  dregs  with  strug- 
gling flies  in  them.  This  potent  charm,  added  to 
the  fact  that  she  was  the  eldest  daughter,  towards 
whom  her  mamma  had  always  been  in  an  apolo- 
getic state  of  mind  for  the  evils  brought  on  her 
by  a  step-father,  may  seem  so  full  a  reason  for 
Gwendolen's  domestic  empire,  that  to  look  for 
any  other  would  be  to  ask  the  reason  of  daylight 
when  the  sun  is  shining.  But  beware  of  arriving 
at  conclusions  without  comparison.  I  remember 
having  seen  the  same  assiduous,  apologetic  atten- 
tion awarded  to  persons  who  were  not  at  all  beau- 
tiful or  unusual,  whose  firmness  showed  itself  in 
no  very  graceful  or  euphonious  way,  and  who  were 
not  eldest  daughters  with  a  tender,  timid  mother, 
compunctious  at  having  subjected  them  to  incon- 
veniences. Some  of  them  were  a  very  common 
sort  of  men.     And  the  only  point  of  resemblance 


among  them  all  was  a  strong  determination  to 
have  what  was  pleasant,  with  a  total  fearlessness 
in  making  themselves  disagreeable  or  dangerous 
when  they  did  not  get  it.  Who  is  so  much  ca- 
joled and  served  with  trembling  by  the  weak 
females  of  a  household  as  the  unscrupulous  male 
— capable,  if  he  has  not  free  way  at  home,  of  going 
and  doing  worse  elsewhere  ?  Hence  I  am  forced 
to  doubt  whether  even  without  her  potent  charm 
and  peculiar  filial  position  Gwendolen  might  not 
still  have  played  the  queen  in  exile,  if  only  she 
had  kept  her  inborn  energy  of  egoistic  desire,  and 
her  power  of  inspiring  fear  as  to  what  she  might 
say  or  do.  However,  she  had  the  charm,  and 
those  who  feared  her  were  also  fond  of  her ;  the 
fear  and  the  fondness  being  perhaps  both  height- 
ened by  what  may  be  called  the  iridescence  of  her 
character — the  play  of  various,  nay,  contrary  ten- 
dencies. For  Macbeth's  rhetoric  about  the  impos- 
sibility of  being  many  opposite  things  in  the  same 
moment,  referred  to  the  clumsy  necessities  of  action 
and  not  to  the  subtler  possibilities  of  feeling.  We 
cannot  speak  a  loyal  word  and  be  meanly  silent, 
we  cannot  kill  and  not  kill  in  the  same  moment ; 
but  a  moment  is  room  wide  enough  for  the  loyal 
and  mean  desire,  for  the  outlash  of  a  murderous 
thought  and  the  sharp  backward  stroke  of  re- 



"Her  wit 
Values  itself  so  highly,  that  to  her 
All  matter  else  seems  weak." 

— Much  Ado  about  Nothing. 

Gwendolen's  reception  in  the  neighbourhood  ful- 
filled her  uncle's  expectations.  From  Bracken- 
shaw  Castle  to  the  Firs  at  Wancester,  where  Mr 
Quallon  the  banker  kept  a  generous  house,  she 
was  welcomed  with  manifest  admiration,  and  even 
those  ladies  who  did  not  quite  like  her,  felt  a  com- 
fort in  having  a  new,  striking  girl  to  invite ;  for 
hostesses  who  entertain  much  must  make  up  their 
parties  as  ministers  make  up  their  cabinets,  on 
grounds  other  than  personal  liking.  Then,  in 
order  to  have  Gwendolen  as  a  guest,  it  was  not 
necessary  to  ask  any  one  who  was  disagreeable, 
for  Mrs  Davilow  always  made  a  quiet,  picturesque 
figure  as  a  chaperon,  and  Mr  Gascoigne  was  every- 
where in  request  for  his  own  sake. 

Among  the  houses  where  Gwendolen  was  not 


quite  liked,  and  yet  invited,  was  Quetcham  Hall. 
One  of  her  first  invitations  "was  to  a  large  dinner 
party  there,  which  made  a  sort  of  general  intro- 
duction for  her  to  the  society  of  the  neighbour- 
hood ;  for  in  a  select  party  of  thirty  and  of  well- 
composed  proportions  as  to  age,  few  visitable 
families  could  be  entirely  left  out.  No  youth- 
ful figure  there  was  comparable  to  Gwendolen's 
as  she  passed  through  the  long  suite  of  rooms 
adorned  with  light  and  flowers,  and,  visible  at  first 
as  a  slim  figure  floating  along  in  white  drapery, 
approached  through  one  wide  doorway  after  an- 
other into  fuller  illumination  and  definiteness. 
She  had  never  had  that  sort  of  promenade  before, 
and  she  felt  exultingly  that  it  befitted  her :  any 
one  looking  at  her  for  the  first  time  might  have 
supposed  that  long  galleries  and  lackeys  had 
always  been  a  matter  of  course  in  her  life ;  while 
her  cousin  Anna,  who  was  really  more  familiar 
with  these  things,  felt  almost  as  much  embar- 
rassed as  a  rabbit  suddenly  deposited  in  that 
well-lit  space. 

"  Who  is  that  with  Gascoigne  ? "  said  the  arch- 
deacon, neglecting  a  discussion  of  military  man- 
oeuvres on  which,  as  a  clergyman,  he  was  naturally 
appealed  to.  And  his  son,  on  the  other  side  of 
the  room — a  hopeful  young   scholar,  who   had 


already  suggested  some  "  not  less  elegant  than  in- 
genious "  emendations  of  Greek  texts — said  nearly 
at  the  same  time,  ''  By  George,  who  is  that  girl 
with  the  awfully  well-set  head  and  jolly  figure?" 

But  to  a  mind  of  general  benevolence,  wishing 
everybody  to  look  well,  it  was  rather  exasperating 
to  see  how  Gwendolen  eclipsed  others  :  how  even 
the  handsome  Miss  Lawe,  explained  to  be  the 
daughter  of  Lady  Lawe,  looked  suddenly  broad, 
heavy,  and  inanimate ;  and  how  Miss  Arrowpoint, 
unfortunately  also  dressed  in  white,  immediately 
resembled  a  carte-de-visite  in  which  one  would 
fancy  the  skirt  alone  to  have  been  charged  for. 
Since  Miss  Arrowpoint  was  generally  liked  for 
the  amiable  unpretending  way  in  which  she  wore 
her  fortunes,  and  made  a  softening  screen  for  the 
oddities  of  her  mother,  there  seemed  to  be  some 
unfitness  in  Gwendolen's  looking  so  much  more 
like  a  person  of  social  importance. 

"  She  is  not  really  so  handsome,  if  you  come  to 
examine  her  features,"  said  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  later 
in  the  evening,  confidentially  to  Mrs  Vulcany. 
"  It  is  a  certain  style  she  has,  which  produces  a 
great  effect  at  first,  but  afterwards  she  is  less 

In  fact,  Gwendolen,  not  intending  it,  but  in- 
tending the  contrary,  had  offended  her  hostess, 


who,  though  not  a  splenetic  or  vindictive  woman, 
had  her  susceptibilities.  Several  conditions  had 
met  in  the  Lady  of  Quetcham  which  to  the  rea- 
soners  in  that  neighbourhood  seemed  to  have  an 
essential  connection  with  each  other.  It  was 
occasionally  recalled  that  she  had  been  the 
heiress  of  a  fortune  gained  by  some  moist  or  dry 
business  in  the  city,  in  order  fully  to  account  for 
her  having  a  squat  figure,  a  harsh  parrot -like 
voice,  and  a  systematically  high  head-dress ;  and 
since  these  points  made  her  externally  rather 
ridiculous,  it  appeared  to  many  only  natural  that 
she  should  have  what  are  called  literary  ten- 
dencies. A  little  comparison  would  have  shown 
that  all  these  points  are  to  be  found  apart; 
daughters  of  aldermen  being  often  well-grown  and 
well -featured,  pretty  women  having  sometimes 
harsh  or  husky  voices,  and  the  production  of 
feeble  literature  being  found  compatible  with  the 
most  diverse  forms  of  physique,  masculine  as  well 
as  feminine. 

Gwendolen,  who  had  a  keen  sense  of  absurdity 
in  others,  but  was  kindly  disposed  towards  any 
one  who  could  make  life  agreeable  to  her,  meant 
to  win  Mrs  Arrowpoint  by  giving  her  an  interest 
and  attention  beyond  what  others  were  probably 
inclined  to  show.    But  self-confidence  is  apt  to 


address  itself  to  an  imaginary  dulness  in  others ; 
as  people  who  are  well-off  speak  in  a  cajoling 
tone  to  the  poor,  and  those  who  are  in  the  prime 
of  life  raise  their  voice  and  talk  artificially  to 
seniors,  hastily  conceiving  them  to  be  deaf  and 
rather  imbecile.  Gwendolen,  with  all  her  clever- 
ness and  purpose  to  be  agreeable,  could  not  escape 
that  form  of  stupidity :  it  followed  in  her  mind, 
unreflectingly,  that  because  Mrs  An'owpoint  was 
ridiculous  she  was  also  likely  to  be  wanting  in 
penetration,  and  she  went  through  her  little 
scenes  without  suspicion  that  the  various  shades 
of  her  behaviour  were  all  noted. 

"You  are  fond  of  books  as  well  as  of  music, 
riding,  and  archery,  I  hear,"  Mrs  Arrowpoint  said, 
going  to  her  for  a  tete-d-t^te  in  the  drawing-room 
after  dinner :  "  Catherine  will  be  very  glad  to 
have  so  sympathetic  a  neighbour."  This  little 
speech  might  have  seemed  the  most  graceful 
politeness,  spoken  in  a  low  melodious  tone ;  but 
with  a  twang  fatally  loud,  it  gave  Gwendolen  a 
sense  of  exercising  patronage  when  she  answered 

"  It  is  I  who  am  fortunate.  Miss  Arrowpoint 
will  teach  me  what  good  music  is  :  I  shall  be 
entirely  a  learner.  I  hear  that  she  is  a  thorough 


"  Catherine  has  certainly  had  every  advantage. 
We  have  a  first-rate  musician  in  the  house  now — 
Herr  Klesmer;  perhaps  you  know  all  his  com- 
positions. You  must  allow  me  to  introduce  him 
to  you.  You  sing,  I  believe.  Catherine  plays 
three  instruments,  but  she  does  not  sing.  I  hope 
you  will  let  us  hear  you.  I  understand  you  are 
an  accomplished  singer." 

"Oh  no !  — '  die  Kraft  ist  schwach,  allein  die 
Lust  ist  gross/  as  Mephistopheles  says." 

"Ah,  you  are  a  student  of  Goethe.  Young 
ladies  are  so  advanced  now.  I  suppose  you  have 
read  everything." 

"  No,  really.  I  shall  be  so  glad  if  you  will  tell 
me  what  to  read.  I  have  been  looking  into  all 
the  books  in  the  library  at  Offendene,  but  there  is 
nothing  readable.  The  leaves  all  stick  together 
and  smell  musty.  I  wish  I  could  write  books  to 
amuse  myself,  as  you  can !  How  delightful  it 
must  be  to  write  books  after  one's  own  taste  in- 
stead of  reading  other  people's  !  Home  -  made 
books  must  be  so  nice." 

For  an  instant  Mrs  Arrowpoint's  glance  was  a 
little  sharper,  but  the  perilous  resemblance  to  satire 
in  the  last  sentence  took  the  hue  of  girlish  sim- 
plicity when  Gwendolen  added — 

"  I  would  give  anything  to  write  a  book  I  " 


"  And  why  should  you  not  ? "  said  Mrs  Arrow- 
point,  encouragingly.  "  You  have  but  to  begin  as 
I  did.  Pen,  ink,  and  paper  are  at  everybody's 
command.  But  I  will  send  you  all  I  have  written 
with  pleasure." 

"  Thanks.  I  shall  be  so  glad  to  read  your  writ- 
ings. Being  acquainted  with  authors  must  give  a 
peculiar  understanding  of  their  books  :  one  would 
be  able  to  tell  then  which  parts  were  funny  and 
which  serious.  I  am  sure  I  often  laugh  in  the 
wrong  place."  Here  Gwendolen  herself  became 
aware  of  danger,  and  added  quickly,  "  In  Shakes- 
peare, you  know,  and  other  great  writers  that  we 
can  never  see.  But  I  always  want  to  know  more 
than  there  is  in  the  books." 

"  If  you  are  interested  in  any  of  my  subjects  I 
can  lend  you  many  extra  sheets  in  manuscript," 
said  Mrs  Arrowpoint — while  Gwendolen  felt  herself 
painfully  in  the  position  of  the  young  lady  who 
professed  to  like  potted  sprats.  "  These  are  things 
I  daresay  I  shall  publish  eventually:  several 
friends  have  urged  me  to  do  so,  and  one  doesn't 
like  to  be  obstinate.  My  Tasso,  for  example — I 
could  have  made  it  twice  the  size." 

"  I  dote  on  Tasso,"  said  Gwendolen. 

"  Well,  you  shall  have  all  my  papers,  if  you 
like.     So   many,  you  know,  have  written  about 


Tasso ;  but  they  are  all  wrong.  As  to  the  particu- 
lar nature  of  his  madness,  and  his  feelings  for 
Leonora,  and  the  real  cause  of  his  imprisonment, 
and  the  character  of  Leonora,  who,  in  my  opinion, 
was  a  cold-hearted  woman,  else  she  would  have 
married  him  in  spite  of  her  brother — they  are  all 
wrong.     I  differ  from  everybody." 

"  How  very  interesting  ! "  said  Gwendolen.  "  I 
like  to  differ  from  everybody.  I  think  it  is  so 
stupid  to  agree.  That  is  the  worst  of  writing 
your  opinions  ;  you  make  people  agree  with  you." 

This  speech  renewed  a  slight  suspicion  in  Mrs 
Arfowpoint,  and  again  her  glance  became  for  a 
moment  examining.  But  Gwendolen  looked  very 
innocent,  and  continued  with  a  docile  air. 

"  I  know  nothing  of  Tasso  except  the  Gerusa- 
lemme  Liberata,  which  we  read  and  learned  by 
heart  at  school." 

"  Ah,  his  life  is  more  interesting  than  his  poetry. 
I  have  constructed  the  early  part  of  his  life  as  a 
sort  of  romance.  When  one  thinks  of  his  father 
Bernardo,  and  so  on,  there  is  so  much  that  must 
be  true." 

"  Imagination  is  often  truer  than  fact,"  said 
Gwendolen,  decisively,  though  she  could  no  more 
have  explained  these  glib  words  than  if  they  had 
been  Coptic  or  Etruscan.     *'  I  shall  be  so  glad  to 


learn  all  about  Tasso — and  his  madness  especially. 
I  suppose  .poets  are  always  a  little  mad." 

"  To  be  sure — '  the  poet's  eye  in  a  fine  frenzy 
rolling ; '  and  somebody  says  of  Marlowe — 

*  For  that  fine  madness  still  he  did  maintain, 
Which  always  should  possess  the  poet's  brain.'  " 

"  But  it  was  not  always  found  out,  was  it  ? " 
said  Gwendolen,  innocently.  "  I  suppose  some  of 
them  rolled  their  eyes  in  private.  Mad  people  are 
often  very  cunning." 

Again  a  shade  flitted  over  Mrs  Arrowpoint's 
face ;  but  the  entrance  of  the  gentlemen  prevented 
any  immediate  mischief  between  her  and  this  too 
quick  young  lady,  who  had  over-acted  her  naiveU. 

"Ah,  here  comes  Herr  Klesmer,''  said  Mrs 
Arrowpoint,  rising ;  and  presently  bringing  him  to 
Gwendolen  she  left  them  to  a  dialogue  which  was 
agreeable  on  both  sides,  Herr  Klesmer  being  a 
fehcitous  combination  of  the  German,  the  Sclave, 
and  the  Semite,  with  grand  features,  brown  hair 
floating  in  artistic  fashion,  and  brown  eyes  in 
spectacles.  His  English  had  little  foreignness  ex- 
cept its  fluency ;  and  his  alarming  cleverness  was 
made  less  formidable  just  then  by  a  certain  soften- 
ing air  of  silliness  which  will  sometimes  befall  even 
Genius  in  the  desire  of  being  agreeable  to  Beauty. 


Music  was  soon  begun.  Miss  Arrowpoint  and 
Herr  Klesmer  played  a  four-handed  piece  on  two 
pianos  which  convinced  the  company  in  general 
that  it  was  long,  and  Gwendolen  in  particular  that 
the  neutral,  placid-faced  Miss  Arrowpoint  had 
a  mastery  of  the  instrument  which  put  her  own 
execution  out  of  the  question — though  she  was 
not  discouraged  as  to  her  often-praised  touch  and 
style.  After  this  every  one  became  anxious  to 
hear  Gwendolen  sing ;  especially  Mr  Arrowpoint ; 
as  was  natural  in  a  host  and  a  perfect  gentleman, 
of  whom  no  one  had  anything  to  say  but  that  he 
had  married  Miss  Guttler,  and  imported  the  best 
cigars;  and  he  led  her  to  the  piano  with  easy 
politeness.  Herr  Klesmer  closed  the  instrument 
in  readiness  for  her,  and  smiled  with  pleasure  at 
her  approach ;  then  placed  himself  at  the  distance 
of  a  few  feet  so  that  he  could  see  her  as  she  sang. 

Gwendolen  was  not  nervous  :  what  she  under- 
took to  do  she  did  without  trembling,  and  singing 
was  an  enjoyment  to  her.  Her  voice  was  a  mo- 
derately powerful  soprano  (some  one  had  told  her 
it  was  like  Jenny  Lind's),  her  ear  good,  and  she 
was  able  to  keep  in  tune,  so  that  her  singing  gave 
pleasure  to  ordinary  hearers,  and  she  had  been  used 
to  unmingled  applause.  She  had  the  rare  advan- 
tage of  looking  almost  prettier  when  she  was  sing- 


ing  than  at  other  times,  and  that  Herr  Klesmer 
was  in  front  of  her  seemed  not  disagreeable.  Her 
song,  determined  on  beforehand,  was  a  favourite 
aria  of  Bellini's,  in  which  she  felt  quite  sure  of 

"  Charming ! "  said  Mr  Arrowpoint,  who  had 
remained  near,  and  the  word  was  echoed  around 
without  more  insincerity  than  we  recognise  in  a 
brotherly  way  as  human.  But  Herr  Klesmer  stood 
like  a  statue — if  a  statue  can  be  imagined  in  spec- 
tacles ;  at  least,  he  was  as  mute  as  a  statue. 
Gwendolen  was  pressed  to  keep  her  seat  and  double 
the  general  pleasure,  and  she  did  not  wish  to  re- 
fuse; but  before  resolving  to  do  so,  she  moved  a 
little  towards  Herr  Klesmer,  saying  with  a  look  of 
smiling  appeal,  "  It  would  be  too  cruel  to  a  great 
musician.  You  cannot  like  to  hear  poor  amateur 

"  No,  truly ;  but  that  makes  nothing,"  said  Herr 
Klesmer,  suddenly  speaking  in  an  odious  German 
fashion  with  staccato  endings,  quite  unobservable  in 
him  before,  and  apparently  depending  on  a  change 
of  mood,  as  Irishmen  resume  their  strongest  brogue 
when  they  are  fervid  or  quarrelsome.  "That 
makes  nothing.  It  is  always  acceptable  to  see 
you  sing." 

Was  there  ever  so  unexpected  an  assertion  of 


superiority  ?  at  least  before  the  late  Teutonic  con- 
quests ?  Gwendolen  coloured  deeply,  but,  with 
her  usual  presence  of  mind,  did  not  show  an  un- 
graceful resentment  by  moving  away  immediately ; 
and  Miss  Arrowpoint,  who  had  been  near  enough 
to  overhear  (and  also  to  observe  that  Herr  Kles- 
mer's  mode  of  looking  at  Gwendolen  was  more 
conspicuously  admiring  than  was  quite  consistent 
with  good  taste),  now  with  the  utmost  tact  and 
kindness  came  close  to  her  and  said — 

"Imagine  what  I  have  to  go  through  with  this 
professor !  He  can  hardly  tolerate  anything  we 
English  do  in  music.  We  can  only  put  up  with 
his  severity,  and  make  use  of  it  to  find  out  the 
worst  that  can  be  said  of  us.  It  is  a  little  comfort 
to  know  that ;  and  one  can  bear  it  when  every 
one  else  is  admiring." 

"  I  should  be  very  much  obliged  to  him  for  tell- 
ing me  the  worst,"  said  Gwendolen,  recovering  her- 
self. "  I  daresay  I  have  been  extremely  ill  taught, 
in  addition  to  having  no  talent — only  liking  for 
music."  This  was  very  well  expressed  consider- 
ing that  it  had  never  entered  her  mind  before. 

"  Yes,  it  is  true ;  you  have  not  been  well  taught," 
said  Herr  Klesmer,  quietly.  Woman  was  dear  to 
liim,  but  music  was  dearer.  "  Still,  you  are  not 
quite  without  gifts.      You  sing  in  tune,  and  you 

VOL.  L  F 


have  a  pretty  fair  organ.  But  you  produce  your 
notes  badly ;  and  that  music  which  you  sing  is 
beneath  you.  It  is  a  form  of  melody  which  ex- 
presses a  puerile  state  of  culture — a  dandling, 
canting,  see-saw  kind  of  stuff — the  passion  and 
thought  of  people  without  any  breadth  of  horizon. 
There  is  a  sort  of  self-satisfied  folly  about  every 
phrase  of  such  melody  :  no  cries  of  deep,  myste- 
rious passion — no  conflict — no  sense  of  the  uni- 
versal. It  makes  men  small  as  they  listen  to  it. 
Sing  now  something  larger.     And  I  shall  see." 

"  Oh,  not  now.  By-and-by,"  said  Gwendolen, 
with  a  sinking  of  heart  at  the  sudden  width  of 
horizon  opened  round  her  small  musical  per- 
formance. For  a  young  lady  desiring  to  lead,  this 
first  encounter  in  her  campaign  was  startling. 
But  she  was  bent  on  not  behaving  foolishly,  and 
Miss  Arrowpoint  helped  her  by  saying — 

"  Yes,  by-and-by.  I  always  require  half  an  hour 
to  get  up  my  courage  after  being  criticised  by 
Herr  Klesmer.  "We  will  ask  him  to  play  to  us 
now  :  he  is  bound  to  show  us  what  is  good  music." 

To  be  quite  safe  on  this  point  Herr  Klesmer 
played  a  composition  of  his  own,  a  fantasia  called 
Freudvoll,  Leidvoll,  Gedanhenvoll — an  extensive 
commentary  on  some  melodic  ideas  not  too  grossly 
evident ;  and  he  certainly  fetched  as  much  variety 


and  depth  of  passion  out  of  the  piano  as  that 
moderately  reponsive  instrument  lends  itself  to, 
having  an  imperious  magic  in  his  fingers  that 
seemed  to  send  a  nerve-thrill  through  ivory  key 
and  wooden  hammer,  and  compel  the  strings  to 
make  a  quivering  lingering  speech  for  him.  Gwen- 
dolen, in  spite  of  her  wounded  egoism,  had  fulness 
of  nature  enough  to  feel  the  power  of  this  playing, 
and  it  gradually  turned  her  inward  sob  of  morti- 
fication into  an  excitement  which  lifted  her  for 
the  moment  into  a  desperate  indifference  about 
her  own  doings,  or  at  least  a  determination  to  get 
a  superiority  over  them  by  laughing  at  them  as  if 
they  belonged  to  somebody  else.  Her  eyes  had 
become  blighter,  her  cheeks  slightly  flushed,  and 
her  tongue  ready  for  any  mischievous  remarks. 

"I  wish  you  would  sing  to  us  again,  Miss 
Harleth,"  said  young  Clintock,  the  archdeacon's 
classical  son,  who  had  been  so  fortunate  as  to  take 
her  to  dinner,  and  came  up  to  renew  conversation 
as  soon  as  Herr  Klesmer's  performance  was  ended. 
"  That  is  the  style  of  music  for  me.  I  never  can 
make  anything  of  this  tip-top  playing.  It  is  like 
a  jar  of  leeches,  where  you  can  never  tell  either 
beginnings  or  endings.  I  could  listen  to  your 
singing  all  day." 

"  Yes,  we  should  be  glad  of  something  popular 


now — another  song  from  you  would  be  a  relaxa- 
tion," said  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  who  had  also  come 
near  with  polite  intentions. 

"That  must  be  because  you  are  in  a  puerile 
state  of  culture,  and  have  no  breadth  of  horizon. 
I  have  just  learned  that.  I  have  been  taught 
how  bad  my  taste  is,  and  am  feeling  growing 
pains.  They  are  never  pleasant,"  said  Gwen- 
dolen, not  taking  any  notice  of  Mrs  Arrowpoint, 
and  looking  up  with  a  bright  smile  at  young 

Mrs  Arrowpoint  was  not  insensible  to  this  rude- 
ness, but  merely  said,  "Well,  we  will  not  press 
anything  disagreeably : "  and  as  there  was  a  per- 
ceptible outrush  of  imprisoned  conversation  just 
then,  and  a  movement  of  guests  seeking  each  other, 
she  remained  seated  where  she  was,  and  looked 
round  her  with  the  relief  of  the  hostess  at  finding 
she  is  not  needed. 

"  I  am  glad  you  like  this  neighbourhood,"  said 
young  Clintock,  well  pleased  with  his  station  in 
front  of  Gwendolen. 

"Exceedingly.  There  seems  to  be  a  little  of 
everything  and  not  much  of  anything." 

"  That  is  rather  equivocal  praise." 

"Not  with  me.     I  like  a  little  of  everything; 


a  little  absurdity,  for  example,  is  very  amusing. 
1  am  thankful  for  a  few  queer  people.  But  much 
of  them  is  a  bore." 

(Mrs  Arrowpoint,  who  was  hearing  this  dialogue, 
perceived  quite  a  new  tone  in  Gwendolen's  speech, 
and  felt  a  revival  of  doubt  as  to  her  interest  in 
Tasso's  madness.) 

"  I  think  there  should  be  more  croquet,  for  one 
thing,"  said  young  Clintock ;  "  I  am  usually  away, 
but  if  I  were  more  here  I  should  go  in  for  a  croquet 
club.  You  are  one  of  the  archers,  I  think.  But 
depend  upon  it  croquet  is  the  game  of  the  future. 
It  wants  writing  up,  though.  One  of  our  best 
men  has  written  a  poem  on  it,  in  four  cantos  ; — 
as  good  as  Pope.  I  want  him  to  publish  it.  You 
never  read  anything  better." 

"  I  shaU  study  croquet  to-morrow.  I  shall  take 
to  it  instead  of  singing." 

"  No,  no,  not  that.  But  do  take  to  croquet.  I 
will  send  you  Jenning's  poem,  if  you  like.  I  have 
a  manuscript  copy." 

"  Is  he  a  great  friend  of  yours  ? " 

"Well,  rather." 

"  Oh,  if  he  is  only  rather,  I  think  I  will  decline. 
Or,  if  you  send  it  me,  will  you  promise  not  to 
catechise  me  upon  it  and  ask  me  which  part  I 


like  best  ?  Because  it  is  not  so  easy  to  know  a 
poem  without  reading  it  as  to  know  a  sermon 
without  listening." 

"Decidedly,"  Mrs  Arrowpoint  thought,  "this 
girl  is  double  and  satirical.  I  shall  be  on  my  guard 
against  her." 

But  Gwendolen,  nevertheless,  continued  to  re- 
ceive polite  attentions  from  the  family  at  Quet- 
cham,  not  merely  because  invitations  have  larger 
grounds  than  those  of  personal  liking,  but  because 
the  trying  little  scene  at  the  piano  had  awakened 
a  kindly  solicitude  towards  her  in  the  gentle  mind 
of  Miss  Arrowpoint,  who  managed  all  the  invi- 
tations and  visits,  her  mother  being  otherwise 



"  Croyez  vous  m'avoir  hGmiliee  pour  m'avoir  appris  que  la  terre  toume 
autour  du  soleil  ?    Je  vous  jure  que  je  ne  m'en  estime  pas  moins." 

— FoNTEXELLE :  Pluralite  des  Mondes. 

That  lofty  criticism  had  caused  Gwendolen  a  new 
sort  of  pain.  She  would  not  have  chosen  to  con- 
fess how  unfortunate  she  thought  herself  in  not 
having  had  Miss  Arrowpoint's  musical  advantages, 
so  as  to  be  able  to  question  Herr  Klesmer's  taste 
with  the  confidence  of  thorough  knowledge  ;  still 
less,  to  admit  even  to  herself  that  Miss  Arrow- 
point  each  time  they  met  raised  an  unwonted  feel- 
ing of  jealousy  in  her;  not  in  the  least  because 
she  was  an  heiress,  but  because  it  was  really  pro- 
voking that  a  girl  whose  appearance  you  could  not 
characterise  except  by  saying  that  her  figure  was 
slight  and  of  middle  stature,  her  features  small, 
her  eyes  tolerable  and  her  complexion  sallow,  had 
nevertheless  a  certain  mental  superiority  which 
could  not  be  explained   away — an   exasperating 


thoroughness  in  her  musical  accomplishment,  a 
fastidious  discrimination  in  her  general  tastes, 
which  made  it  impossible  to  force  her  admiration 
and  kept  you  in  awe  of  her  standard.  This  in- 
significant-looking young  lady  of  four-and-twenty, 
whom  any  one's  eyes  would  have  passed  over 
negligently  if  she  had  not  been  Miss  Arrowpoint, 
might  be  suspected  of  a  secret  opinion  that  Miss 
Harleth's  acquirements  were  rather  of  a  common 
order ;  and  such  an  opinion  was  not  made  agree- 
able to  think  of  by  being  always  veiled  under  a 
perfect  kindness  of  manner. 

But  Gwendolen  did  not  like  to  dwell  on  facts 
which  threw  an  unfavourable  light  on  herself 
The  musical  Magus  who  had  so  suddenly  widened 
her  horizon  was  not  always  on  the  scene ;  and  his 
being  constantly  backwards  and  forwards  between 
London  and  Quetcham  soon  began  to  be  thought 
of  as  offering  opportunities  for  converting  him  to 
a  more  admiring  state  of  mind.  Meanwhile,  in 
the  manifest  pleasure  her  singing  gave  at  Bracken- 
shaw  Castle,  the  Firs,  and  elsewhere,  she  recovered 
her  equanimity,  being  disposed  to  think  approval 
more  trustworthy  than  objection,  and  not  being 
one  of  the  exceptional  persons  who  have  a  parch- 
ing thirst  for  a  perfection  undemanded  by  their 
neighbours.     Perhaps  it  would  have  been  rash  to 


say  then  that  she  was  at  all  exceptional  inwardly, 
or  that  the  unusual  in  her  was  more  than  her  rare 
grace  of  movement  and  hearing,  and  a  certain 
daring  which  gave  piquancy  to  a  very  common 
egoistic  amhition,  such  as  exists  under  many 
clumsy  exteriors  and  is  taken  no  notice  of.  For 
I  suppose  that  the  set  of  the  head  does  not  really 
determine  the  hunger  of  the  inner  self  for  suprem- 
acy :  it  only  makes  a  difference  sometimes  as  to 
the  way  in  which  the  supremacy  is  held  attain- 
able, and  a  little  also  to  the  degree  in  which  it  can 
be  attained ;  especially  when  the  hungry  one  is  a 
girl,  whose  passion  for  doing  what  is  remarkable 
has  an  ideal  limit  in  consistency  with  the  highest 
breeding  and  perfect  freedom  from  the  sordid 
need  of  income.  Gwendolen  was  as  inwardly 
rebellious  against  the  restraints  of  family  condi- 
tions, and  as  ready  to  look  through  obligations 
into  her  own  fundamental  want  of  feeling  for 
them,  as  if  she  had  been  sustained  by  the  boldest 
speculations ;  but  she  really  had  no  such  specu- 
lations, and  would  at  once  have  marked  herself 
off  from  any  sort  of  theoretical  or  practically  re- 
forming women  by  satirising  them.  She  rejoiced 
to  feel  herself  exceptional ;  but  her  horizon  was 
that  of  the  genteel  romance  where  the  heroine's 
soul  poured  out  in  her  journal  is  full  of  vague 


power,  originality,  and  general  rebellion,  while 
her  life  moves  strictly  in  the  sphere  of  fashion ; 
and  if  she  wanders  into  a  swamp,  the  pathos  lies 
partly,  so  to  speak,  in  her  having  on  her  satin 
shoes.  Here  is  a  restraint  which  nature  and  so- 
ciety have  provided  on  the  pursuit  of  striking  ad- 
venture ;  so  that  a  soul  burning  with  a  sense  of 
what  the  universe  is  not,  and  ready  to  take  all 
existence  as  fuel,  is  nevertheless  held  captive  by 
the  ordinary  wirework  of  social  forms  and  doss 
nothing  particular. 

This  commonplace  result  was  what  Gwendolen 
found  herself  threatened  with  even  in  the  novelty 
of  the  first  winter  at  Offendene.  What  she  was 
clear  upon  was,  that  she  did  not  wish  to  lead  the 
same  sort  of  life  as  ordinary  young  ladies  did  ;  but 
what  she  was  not  clear  upon  was,  how  she  should 
set  about  leading  any  other,  and  what  were  the 
particular  acts  which  she  would  assert  her  freedom 
by  doing.  Offendene  remained  a  good  background, 
if  anything  would  happen  there  ;  but  on  the  whole 
the  neighbourhood  was  in  fault. 

Beyond  the  effect  of  her  beauty  on  a  first  pre- 
sentation, there  was  not  much  excitement  to  be 
got  out  of  her  earliest  invitations,  and  she  came 
home  after  little  sallies  of  satire  and  knowingness, 
such  as  had  offended  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  to  fill  the 


intervening  days  with  the  most  girlish  devices. 
The  strongest  assertion  she  was  able  to  make  of 
her  individual  claims  was  to  leave  out  AHce's 
lessons  (on  the  principle  that  Alice  was  more 
likely  to  excel  in  ignorance),  and  to  employ  her 
with  Miss  Merry,  and  the  maid  who  was  under- 
stood to  wait  on  all  the  ladies,  in  helping  to 
arrange  various  dramatic  costumes  which  Gwen- 
dolen pleased  herself  with  having  in  readiness  for 
some  future  occasions  of  acting  in  charades  or 
theatrical  pieces,  occasions  wliich  she  meant  to 
bring  about  by  force  of  will  or  contrivance.  She 
had  never  acted — only  made  a  figure  in  taUeaux 
vivans  at  school ;  but  she  felt  assured  that  she 
could  act  well,  and  having  been  once  or  twice  to 
the  Thd^tre  rran9ais,  and  also  heard  her  mamma 
speak  of  Eachel,  her  waking  dreams  and  cogita- 
tions as  to  how  she  would  manage  her  destiny 
sometimes  turned  on  the  question  whether  she 
should  become  an  actress  like  Rachel,  since  she 
was  more  beautiful  than  that  thin  Jewess.  Mean- 
while the  wet  days  before  Christmas  were  passed 
pleasantly  in  the  preparation  of  costumes,  Greek, 
Oriental,  and  Composite,  in  which  Gwendolen  at- 
titudinised and  speechified  before  a  domestic  audi- 
ence, including  even  the  housekeeper,  who  was 
once  pressed  into  it  that  she  might  swell  the  notes 


of  applause  ;  but  having  shown  herself  unworthy 
by  observing  that  Miss  Harleth  looked  far  more 
like  a  queen  in  her  own  dress  than  in  that  baggy 
thing  with  her  arms  all  bare,  she  was  not  invited 
a  second  time. 

"  Do  I  look  as  well  as  Rachel,  mamma  ? "  said 
Gwendolen  one  day  when  she  had  been  showing 
herself  in  her  Greek  dress  to  Anna,  and  going 
through  scraps  of  scenes  with  much  tragic  intention. 

"  You  have  better  arms  than  Rachel,"  said  Mrs 
Davilow ;  "  your  arms  would  do  for  anything, 
Gwen.  But  your  voice  is  not  so  tragic  as  hers : 
it  is  not  so  deep." 

"  I  can  make  it  deeper  if  I  like,"  said  Gwen- 
dolen, provisionally;  then  she  added,  with  decision, 
"  I  think  a  higher  voice  is  more  tragic  :  it  is  more 
feminine  ;  and  the  more  feminine  a  woman  is, 
the  more  tragic  it  seems  when  she  does  desperate 

"  There  may  be  something  in  that,"  said  Mrs 
Davilow,  languidly.  "  But  I  don't  know  what 
good  there  is  in  making  one's  blood  creep.  And 
if  there  is  anything  horrible  to  be  done,  I  should 
like  it  to  be  left  to  the  men." 

"  Oh  mamma,  you  are  so  dreadfully  prosaic  !  As 
if  all  the  great  poetic  criminals  were  not  women ! 
I  think  the  men  are  poor  cautious  creatures." 


"  Well,  dear,  and  you — who  are  afraid  to  be 
alone  in  the  night — I  don't  think  you  would  be 
very  bold  in  crime,  thank  God." 

"  I  am  not  talking  about  reality,  mamma,"  said 
Gwendolen,  impatiently.  Then,  her  mamma  being 
called  out  of  the  room,  she  turned  quickly  to  her 
cousin,  as  if  taking  an  opportunity,  and  said, 
"  Anna,  do  ask  my  uncle  to  let  us  get  up  some 
charades  at  the  Kectory.  Mr  Middleton  and 
Warham  could  act  with  us — just  for  practice. 
Mamma  says  it  will  not  do  to  have  Mr  Middle- 
ton  consulting  and  rehearsing  here.  He  is  a 
stick,  but  we  could  give  him  suitable  parts.  Do 
ask  ;  or  else  I  will." 

"  Oh,  not  till  Rex  comes.  He  is  so  clever,  and 
such  a  dear  old  thing,  and  he  will  act  Napoleon 
looking  over  the  sea.  He  looks  just  like  Napoleon. 
Kex  can  do  anything." 

"  I  don't  in  the  least  believe  in  your  Rex,  Anna," 
said  Gwendolen,  laughing  at  her.  "  He  will  turn 
out  to  be  like  those  wretched  blue  and  yellow 
water-colours  of  his  which  you  hang  up  in  your 
bedroom  and  worship." 

"  Very  well,  you  will  see,"  said  Anna.  "  It  is 
not  that  I  know  what  is  clever,  but  he  has  got  a 
scholarship  already,  and  papa  says  he  will  get  a 
fellowship,  and  nobody  is  better  at  games.     He  is 


cleverer  than  Mr  Middleton,  and  everybody  but 
you  calls  Mr  Middleton  clever/' 

"  So  he  may  be  in  a  dark-lantern  sort  of  way. 
But  he  is  a  stick.  If  he  had  to  say,  '  Perdition 
catch  my  soul,  but  I  do  love  her,'  he  would  say 
it  in  just  the  same  tone  as,  '  Here  endeth  the 
second  lesson/  " 

"  Oh  Gwendolen ! "  said  Anna,  shocked  at  these 
promiscuous  allusions.  "  And  it  is  very  unkind 
of  you  to  speak  so  of  him,  for  he  admires  you 
very  much.  I  heard  Warham  say  one  day  to 
mamma,  '  Middleton  is  regularly  spoony  upon 
Gwendolen.'  She  was  very  angry  with  him ;  but 
I  know  what  it  means.  It  is  what  they  say  at 
college  for  being  in  love." 

*'  How  can  I  help  it  ?  "  said  Gwendolen,  rather 
contemptuously.  "  Perdition  catch  my  soul  if  I 
love  him" 

"  No,  of  course  ;  papa,  I  think,  would  not  wish 
it.  And  he  is  to  go  away  soon.  But  it  makes  me 
sorry  when  you  ridicule  him." 

"What  shall  you  do  to  me  when  I  ridicule 
Eex  ? "  said  Gwendolen,  wickedly. 

"  Now,  Gwendolen,  dear,  you  will  not  ? "  said 
Anna,  her  eyes  filling  with  tears.  "  I  could  not 
bear  it.  But  there  really  is  nothing  in  him  to 
ridicule.     Only  you  may  find  out  things.     For  no 


one  ever  thought  of  laughing  at  Mr  Middleton 
before  you.  Every  one  said  he  was  nice-looking, 
and  his  manners  perfect.  I  am  sure  I  have 
always  been  frightened  at  him  because  of  his 
learning  and  his  square-cut  coat,  and  his  being  a 
nephew  of  the  bishop's  and  all  that.  But  you 
will  not  ridicule  Eex — promise  me."  Anna 
ended  with  a  beseeching  look  which  touched 

"You  are  a  dear  little  coz/'  she  said,  just  touch- 
ing the  tip  of  Anna's  chin  with  her  thumb  and 
fore-finger.  "  I  don't  ever  want  to  do  anything 
that  will  vex  you.  Especially  if  Eex  is  to  make 
everything  come  off — charades  and  everything." 

And  when  at  last  Eex  was  there,  the  animation 
he  brought  into  the  life  at  Ofifendene  and  the 
Eectory,  and  his  ready  partnership  in  Gwendolen's 
plans,  left  her  no  inclination  for  any  ridicule  that 
was  not  of  an  open  and  flattering  kind,  such  as 
he  himself  enjoyed.  He  was  a  fine  open-hearted 
youth,  with  a  handsome  face  strongly  resembling 
his  father's  and  Anna's,  but  softer  in  expression 
than  the  one,  and  larger  in  scale  than  the  other : 
a  bright,  healthy,  loving  nature,  enjoying  ordinary, 
innocent  things  so  much  that  vice  had  no  tempta- 
tion for  him,  and  what  he  knew  of  it  lay  too  en- 
tirely in  the  outer  courts  and  little- visited  cham- 


bers  of  his  mind  for  him  to  think  of  it  with  great 
repulsion.  Vicious  habits  were  with  him  "  what 
some  fellows  did  " — "  stupid  stuff "  which  he 
liked  to  keep  aloof  from.  He  returned  Anna's 
affection  as  fully  as  could  be  expected  of  a  brother 
whose  pleasures  apart  from  her  were  more  than 
the  sum  total  of  hers ;  and  he  had  never  known 
a  stronger  love. 

The  cousins  were  continually  together  at  the 
one  house  or  the  other — chiefly  at  Offendene, 
where  there  was  more  freedom,  or  rather  where 
there  was  a  more  complete  sway  for  Gwendolen ; 
and  whatever  she  wished  became  a  ruling  purpose 
for  Eex.  The  charades  came  off  according  to  her 
plans ;  and  also  some  other  little  scenes  not  con- 
templated by  her  in  which  her  acting  was  more 
impromptu.  It  was  at  Offendene  that  the 
charades  and  tableaux  were  rehearsed  and  pre- 
sented, Mrs  Davilow  seeing  no  objection  even  to 
Mr  Middleton's  being  invited  to  share  in  them, 
now  that  Rex  too  was  there  —  especially  as  his 
services  were  indispensable ;  Warham,  who  was 
studying  for  India  with  a  Wancester  "  coach," 
having  no  time  to  spare,  and  being  generally  dis- 
mal under  a  cram  of  everything  except  the  an- 
swers needed  at  the  forthcoming  examination, 
which  might  disclose  the  welfare  of  our  Indian 


Empire  to  be  somehow  connected  with  a  quotable 
knowledge  of  Browne's  Pastorals. 

Mr  Middleton  was  persuaded  to  play  various 
grave  parts,  Gwendolen  having  flattered  him  on 
his  enviable  immobility  of  countenance ;  and,  at 
first  a  little  pained  and  jealous  at  her  comradeship 
with  Eex,  he  presently  drew  encouragement  from 
the  thought  that  this  sort  of  cousinly  familiarity 
excluded  any  serious  passion.  Indeed,  he  occa- 
sionally felt  that  her  more  formal  treatment  of 
himself  was  such  a  sign  of  favour  as  to  warrant 
his  making  advances  before  he  left  Pennicote, 
though  he  had  intended  to  keep  his  feelings  in 
reserve  until  his  position  should  be  more  assured. 
Miss  Gwendolen,  quite  aware  that  she  was  adored 
by  this  unexceptionable  young  clergyman  with 
pale  whiskers  and  square-cut  collar,  felt  nothing 
more  on  the  subject  than  that  she  had  no  objec- 
tion to  be  adored:  she  turned  her  eyes  on  him 
with  calm  mercilessness  and  caused  him  many 
mildly  agitating  hopes  by  seeming  always  to 
avoid  dramatic  contact  with  him — for  all  mean- 
ings, we  know,  depend  on  the  key  of  interpre- 

Some  persons  might  have  thought  beforehand 
that  a  young  man  of  Anglican  leanings,  having 
a  sense  of  sacredness  much  exercised   on  small 

VOL.  I.  a 


things  as  well  as  great,  rarely  laughing  save  from 
politeness,  and  in  general  regarding  the  mention 
of  spades  by  their  naked  names  as  rather  coarse, 
would  not  have  seen  a  fitting  bride  for  himself 
in  a  girl  who  was  daring  in  ridicule,  and  showed 
none  of  the  special  grace  required  in  the  cler- 
gyman's wife ;  or,  that  a  young  man  informed  by 
theological  reading  would  have  reflected  that  he 
was  not  likely  to  meet  the  taste  of  a  lively,  rest- 
less young  lady  like  Miss  Harleth.  But  are  we 
always  obliged  to  explain  why  the  facts  are  not 
what  some  persons  thought  beforehand?  The 
apology  lies  on  their  side,  who  had  that  erroneoiis 
way  of  thinking. 

As  for  Eex,  who  would  possibly  have  been 
sorry  for  poor  Middleton  if  he  had  been  aware  of 
the  excellent  curate's  inward  conflict,  he  was  too 
completely  absorbed  in  a  first  passion  to  have 
observation  for  any  person  or  thing.  He  did  not 
observe  Gwendolen  ;  he  OAly  felt  what  she  said  or 
did,  and  the  back  of  his  head  seemed  to  be  a  good 
organ  of  information  as  to  whether  she  was  in  the 
room  or  out.  Before  the  end  of  the  first  fortnight 
he  was  so  deeply  in  love  that  it  was  impossible 
for  him  to  think  of  his  life  except  as  bound  up 
with  Gwendolen's.  He  could  see  no  obstacles, 
poor  boy;  his  own  love  seemed  a  guarantee  of 


hers,  since  it  was  one  with  the  unperturbed  de- 
light in  her  image,  so  that  he  could  no  more 
dream  of  her  giving  him  pain  than  an  Egyptian 
could  dream  of  snow.  She  sang  and  played  to 
him  whenever  he  liked,  was  always  glad  of  his 
companionship  in  riding,  though  his  borrowed 
steeds  were  often  comic,  was  ready  to  join  in  any 
fun  of  his,  and  showed  a  right  appreciation  of 
Anna.  No  mark  of  sympathy  seemed  absent. 
That  because  Gwendolen  was  the  most  perfect 
creature  in  the  world  she  was  to  make  a  grand 
match,  had  not  occurred  to  him.  He  had  no  con- 
ceit— at  least,  not  more  than  goes  to  make  up  the 
necessary  gum  and  consistence  of  a  substantial 
personality :  it  was  only  that  in  the  young  bliss 
of  loving  he  took  Gwendolen's  perfection  as  part 
of  that  good  which  had  seemed  one  with  life  to 
him,  being  the  outcome  of  a  happy,  well-embodied 

One  incident  which  happened  in  the  course  of 
their  dramatic  attempts  impressed  Eex  as  a  sign 
of  her  unusual  sensibility.  It  showed  an  aspect 
of  her  nature  which  could  not  have  been  precon- 
ceived by  any  one  who,  like  him,  had  only  seen  her 
habitual  fearlessness  in  active  exercises  and  her 
high  spirits  in  society. 

After  a  good  deal  of  rehearsing  it  was  resolved 


that  a  select  party  should  be  invited  to  Offendene 
to  witness  the  performances  which  went  with  so 
much  satisfaction  to  the  actors.  Anna  had  caused 
a  pleasant  surprise  ;  nothing  could  be  neater  than 
the  way  in  which  she  played  her  little  parts ; 
one  would  even  have  suspected  her  of  hiding 
much  sly  observation  under  her  simplicity.  And 
Mr  Middleton  answered  very  well  by  not  trying 
to  be  comic.  The  main  source  of  doubt  and 
retardation  had  been  Gwendolen's  desire  to  appear 
in  her  Greek  dress.  No  word  for  a  charade  would 
occur  to  her  either  waking  or  dreaming  that 
suited  her  purpose  of  getting  a  statuesque  pose  in 
this  favourite  costume.  To  choose  a  motive  from 
Eacine  was  of  no  use,  since  Eex  and  the  others 
could  not  declaim  French  verse,  and  improvised 
speeches  would  turn  the  scene  into  burlesque. 
Besides,  Mr  Gascoigne  prohibited  the  acting  of 
scenes  from  plays  :  he  usually  protested  against 
the  notion  that  an  amusement  which  was  fitting 
for  every  one  else  was  unfitting  for  a  clergyman  ; 
but  he  would  not  in  this  matter  overstep  the  line 
of  decorum  as  drawn  in  that  part  of  Wessex, 
which  did  not  exclude  his  sanction  of  the  young 
people's  acting  charades  in  his  sister-in-law's 
house — a  very  different  affair  from  private  theatri- 
cals in  the  full  sense  of  the  word. 


Everybody  of  course  was  concerned  to  satisfy 
this  wish  of  Gwendolen's,  and  Eex  proposed  that 
they  should  wind  up  with  a  tableau  in  which 
the  effect  of  her  majesty  would  not  be  marred  by 
any  one's  speech.  This  pleased  her  thoroughly, 
and  the  only  question  was  the  choice  of  the 

"  Something  pleasant,  children,  I  beseech  you," 
said  Mrs  Davilow ;  "  I  can't  have  any  Greek  wick- 

"It  is  no  worse  than  Christian  wickedness, 
mamma,"  said  Gwendolen,  whose  mention  of 
Eachelesque  heroines  had  called  forth  that 

"And  less  scandalous,"  said  Eex.  "Besides, 
one  thinks  of  it  as  all  gone  by  and  done  with. 
What  do  you  say  to  Briseis  being  led  away  ?  I 
would  be  Achilles,  and  you  would  be  looking 
round  at  me — after  the  print  we  have  at  the 

"That  would  be  a  good  attitude  for  me,"  said 
Gwendolen,  in  a  tone  of  acceptance.  But  after- 
wards she  said  with  decision,  "  No.  It  will  not 
do.  There  must  be  three  men  in  proper  costume, 
else  it  will  be  ridiculous." 

"  I  have  it ! "  said  Eex,  after  a  little  reflection. 
"Hermione  as  the  statue  in  the  Winter's  Tale! 


1  will  be  Leontes  and  Miss  Merry  Paulina,  one  on 
each  side.  Our  dress  won't  signify,"  he  went  on 
laughingly ;  "  it  will  be  more  Shakespearian  and 
romantic  if  Leontes  looks  like  Napoleon,  and 
Paulina  like  a  modern  spinster." 

And  Hermione  was  chosen;  all  agreeing  that 
age  was  of  no  consequence ;  but  Gwendolen  urged 
that  instead  of  the  mere  tableau  there  should  be 
just  enough  acting  of  the  scene  to  introduce  the 
striking  up  of  the  music  as  a  signal  for  her  to  step 
down  and  advance ;  when  Leontes,  instead  of  em- 
bracing her,  was  to  kneel  and  kiss  the  hem  of  her 
garment,  and  so  the  curtain  was  to  fall.  The 
antechamber  with  folding-doors  lent  itself  ad- 
mirably to  the  purposes  of  a  stage,  and  the  whole 
of  the  establishment,  with  the  addition  of  Jarrett 
the  village  carpenter,  was  absorbed  in  the  pre- 
parations for  an  entertainment  which,  considering 
that  it  was  an  imitation  of  acting,  was  likely  to 
be  successful,  since  we  know  from  ancient  fable 
that  an  imitation  may  have  more  chance  of 
success  than  the  original. 

Gwendolen  was  not  without  a  special  exulta- 
tion in  the  prospect  of  this  occasion,  for  she  knew 
that  Herr  Klesmer  was  again  at  Quetcham,  and 
she  had  taken  care  to  include  him  among  the 


Klesmer  came.  He  was  in  one  of  liis  placid 
silent  moods,  and  sat  in  serene  contemplation, 
replying  to  all  appeals  in  benignant -sounding 
syllables  more  or  less  articulate — as  taking  up  his 
cross  meekly  in  a  world  overgrown  with  amateurs, 
or  as  careful  how  he  moved  his  lion  paws  lest 
he  should  crush  a  rampant  and  vociferous  mouse. 

Everything  indeed  went  off  smoothly  and  ac- 
cording to  expectation — all  that  was  improvised 
and  accidental  being  of  a  probable  sort — until 
the  incident  occurred  which  showed  Gwendolen  in 
an  unforeseen  phase  of  emotion.  How  it  came 
about  was  at  first  a  mystery. 

The  tableau  of  Hermione  was  doubly  striking 
from  its  dissimilarity  with  what  had  gone  before  : 
it  was  answering  perfectly,  and  a  murmur  of 
applause  had  been  gradually  suppressed  while 
Leontes  gave  his  permission  that  Paulina  should 
exercise  her  utmost  art  and  make  the  statue  move. 

Hermione,  her  arm  resting  on  a  pillar,  was 
elevated  by  about  six  inches,  which  she  counted 
on  as  a  means  of  showing  her  pretty  foot  and 
instep,  when  at  the  given  signal  she  should  ad- 
vance and  descend. 

"  Music,  awake  her,  strike  ! "  said  Paulina  (Mrs 
Davilow,  who  by  special  entreaty  had  consented 
to  take  the  part  in  a  white  burnous  and  hood). 


Herr  Klesmer,  who  had  been  good-natured 
enough  to  seat  himself  at  the  piano,  struck  a 
thunderous  chord — but  in  the  same  instant,  and 
before  Hermione  had  put  forth  her  foot,  the  mov- 
able panel,  which  was  on  a  line  with  the  piano, 
flew  open  on  the  right  opposite  the  stage  and 
disclosed  the  picture  of  the  dead  face  and  the 
fleeing  figure,  brought  out  in  pale  definiteness  by 
the  position  of  the  wax-lights.  Every  one  was 
startled,  but  all  eyes  in  the  act  of  turning  towards 
the  opened  panel  were  recalled  by  a  piercing  cry 
from  Gwendolen,  who  stood  without  change  of 
attitude,  but  with  a  change  of  expression  that  was 
terrifying  in  its  terror.  She  looked  like  a  statue 
into  which  a  soul  of  Fear  had  entered :  her  pallid 
lips  were  parted;  her  eyes,  usually  narrowed 
under  their  long  lashes,  were  dilated  and  fixed. 
Her  mother,  less  surprised  than  alarmed,  rushed 
towards  her,  and  Kex  too  could  not  help  going 
to  her  side.  But  the  touch  of  her  mother's  arm 
had  the  effect  of  an  electric  charge ;  Gwendolen 
fell  on  her  knees  and  put  her  hands  before  her 
face.  She  was  still  trembling,  but  mute,  and  it 
seemed  that  she  had  self-consciousness  enough 
to  aim  at  controlling  her  signs  of  terror,  for 
she  presently  allowed  herself  to  be  raised  from 
her  kneeling  posture  and   led  away,   while  the 


company  were  relieving  their  minds  by  expla- 

"A  magnificent  bit  oiplastik  that!"  said  Kles- 
mer  to  Miss  Arrowpoint.  And  a  quick  fire  of 
undertoned  question  and  answer  went  round. 

"  Was  it  part  of  the  play  ? " 

"Oh  no,  surely  not.  Miss  Harleth  was  too 
much  affected.     A  sensitive  creature  ! " 

"  Dear  me !  I  was  not  aware  that  there  was  a 
painting  behind  that  panel ;  were  you  ? " 

"  No ;  how  should  I  ?  Some  eccentricity  in 
one  of  the  Earl's  family  long  ago,  I  suppose." 

"  How  very  painful !     Pray  shut  it  up." 

"  Was  the  door  locked  ?  It  is  very  mysterious. 
It  must  be  the  spirits." 

"  But  there  is  no  medium  present.'* 

"  How  do  you  know  that  ?  We  must  conclude 
that  there  is,  when  such  things  happen." 

"  Oh,  the  door  was  not  locked ;  it  was  probably 
the  sudden  vibration  from  the  piano  that  sent  it 

This  conclusion  came  from  Mr  Gascoigne,  who 
begged  Miss  Merry  if  possible  to  get  the  key. 
But  this  readiness  to  explain  the  mystery  was 
thought  by  Mrs  Vulcany  unbecoming  in  a  clergy- 
man, and  she  observed  in  an  undertone  that  Mr 
Gascoigne  was  always  a  little  too  worldly  for  her 


taste.  However,  the  key  was  produced,  and  the 
rector  turned  it  in  the  lock  with  an  emphasis 
rather  offensively  rationalising — as  who  should 
say,  "  It  will  not  start  open  again  " — putting  the 
key  in  his  pocket  as  a  security. 

However,  Gwendolen  soon  reappeared,  showing 
her  usual  spirits,  and  evidently  determined  to 
ignore  as  far  as  she  could  the  striking  change  she 
had  made  in  the  part  of  Hermione. 

But  when  Klesmer  said  to  her,  "We  have  to 
thank  you  for  devising  a  perfect  climax:  you 
could  not  have  chosen  a  finer  bit  oiplastih!'  there 
was  a  flush  of  pleasure  in  her  face.  She  liked  to 
accept  as  a  belief  what  was  really  no  more  than 
delicate  feigning.  He  divined  that  the  betrayal 
into  a  passion  of  fear  had  been  mortifying  to  her, 
and  wished  her  to  understand  that  he  took  it  for 
good  acting.  Gwendolen  cherished  the  idea  that 
now  he  was  struck  with  her  talent  as  well  as  her 
beauty,  and  her  uneasiness  about  his  opinion  was 
half  turned  to  complacency. 

But  too  many  were  in  the  secret  of  what  had 
been  included  in  the  rehearsals,  and  what  had  not, 
and  no  one  besides  Klesmer  took  the  trouble  to 
soothe  Gwendolen's  imagined  mortification.  The 
general  sentiment  was  that  the  incident  should  be 
let  drop. 


There  had  really  been  a  medium  concerned  in 
the  starting  open  of  the  panel:  one  who  had 
quitted  the  room  in  haste  and  crept  to  bed  in 
much  alarm  of  conscience.  It  was  the  small 
Isabel,  whose  intense  curiosity,  unsatisfied  by  the 
brief  glimpse  she  had  had  of  the  strange  picture 
on  the  day  of  arrival  at  Offendene,  had  kept  her 
on  the  watch  for  an  opportunity  of  finding  out 
where  Gwendolen  had  put  the  key,  of  stealing  it 
from  the  discovered  drawer  when  the  rest  of  the 
family  were  out,  and  getting  on  a  stool  to  unlock 
the  panel.  While  she  was  indulging  her  thirst 
for  knowledge  in  this  way,  a  noise  which  she 
feared  was  an  approaching  footstep  alarmed  her; 
she  closed  the  door  and  attempted  hurriedly  to 
lock  it,  but  failing  and  not  daring  to  linger,  she 
withdrew  the  key  and  trusted  that  the  panel 
would  stick,  as  it  seemed  well  inclined  to  do.  In 
this  confidence  she  had  returned  the  key  to  its 
former  place,  stilling  any  anxiety  by  the  thought 
that  if  the  door  were  discovered  to  be  unlocked 
nobody  could  know  how  the  unlocking  came 
about.  The  inconvenient  Isabel,  like  other 
offenders,  did  not  foresee  her  own  impulse  to 
confession,  a  fatality  which  came  upon  her  the 
morning  after  the  party,  when  Gwendolen  said 
at  the  breakfast-table,   "  I  know  the  door  was 


locked  before  the  housekeeper  gave  me  the  key, 
for  I  tried  it  myself  afterwards.  Some  one  must 
have  been  to  my  drawer  and  taken  the  key." 

It  seemed  to  Isabel  that  Gwendolen's  awful 
eyes  had  rested  on  her  more  than  on  the  other 
sisters,  and  without  any  time  for  resolve  she  said 
with  a  trembling  lip,  "  Please  forgive  me,  Gwen- 

The  forgiveness  was  sooner  bestowed  than  it 
would  have  been  if  Gwendolen  had  not  desired  to 
dismiss  from  her  own  and  every  one  else's  memory 
any  case  in  which  she  had  shown  her  suscepti- 
bility to  terror.  She  wondered  at  herself  in  these 
occasional  experiences,  which  seemed  like  a  brief 
remembered  madness,  an  unexplained  exception 
from  her  normal  life;  and  in  this  instance  she 
felt  a  peculiar  vexation  that  her  helpless  fear 
had  shown  itself,  not,  as  usual,  in  solitude,  but  in 
well-lit  company.  Her  ideal  was  to  be  daring 
in  speech  and  reckless  in  braving  dangers,  both 
moral  and  physical ;  and  though  her  practice  fell 
far  behind  her  ideal,  this  shortcoming  seemed  to 
be  due  to  the  pettiness  of  circumstances,  the 
narrow  theatre  which  life  offers  to  a  girl  of 
twenty,  who  cannot  conceive  herself  as  anything 
else  than  a  lady,  or  as  in  any  position  which  would 
lack  the  tribute  of  respect.     She  had  no  perma- 


nent  consciousness  of  other  fetters,  or  of  more 
spiritual  restraints,  having  always  disliked  what- 
ever was  presented  to  her  under  the  name  of 
religion,  in  the  same  way  that  some  people  dislike 
arithmetic  and  accounts :  it  had  raised  no  other 
emotion  in  her,  no  alarm,  no  longing ;  so  that  the 
question  whether  she  believed  it  had  not  occurred 
to  her,  any  more  than  it  had  occurred  to  her  to  in- 
quire into  the  conditions  of  colonial  property  and 
banking,  on  which,  as  she  had  had  many  oppor- 
tunities of  knowing,  the  family  fortune  was  de- 
pendent. All  these  facts  about  herself  she  would 
have  been  ready  to  admit,  and  even,  more  or  less 
indirectly,  to  state.  What  she  unwillingly  re- 
cognised and  would  have  been  glad  for  others  to 
be  unaware  of,  was  that  liability  of  hers  to  fits 
of  spiritual  dread,  though  this  fountain  of  awe 
within  her  had  not  found  its  way  into  connection 
with  the  religion  taught  her  or  with  any  human 
relations.  She  was  ashamed  and  frightened,  as 
at  what  might  happen  again,  in  remembering 
her  tremor  on  suddenly  feeling  herself  alone, 
when,  for  example,  she  was  walking  without  com- 
panionship and  there  came  some  rapid  change  in 
the  light.  Solitude  in  any  wide  scene  impressed 
her  with  an  undefined  feeling  of  immeasurable 
existence  aloof  from  her,  in  the  midst  of  which 


she  was  helplessly  incapable  of  asserting  herself. 
The  little  astronomy  taught  her  at  school  used 
sometimes  to  set  her  imagination  at  work  in  a 
way  that  made  her  tremble;  but  always  when 
some  one  joined  her  she  recovered  her  indiffer- 
ence to  the  vastness  in  which  she  seemed  an 
exile ;  she  found  again  her  usual  world  in  which 
her  will  was  of  some  avail,  and  the  religious 
nomenclature  belonging  to  this  world  was  no  more 
identified  for  her  with  those  uneasy  impressions 
of  awe  than  her  uncle's  surplices  seen  out  of  use 
at  the  rectory.  With  human  ears  and  eyes  about 
her,  she  had  always  hitherto  recovered  her  con- 
fidence, and  felt  the  possibility  of  winning  empire. 
To  her  mamma  and  others  her  fits  of  timidity 
or  terror  were  sufficiently  accounted  for  by  her 
"  sensitiveness"  or  the  "excitability  of  her  nature;" 
but  these  explanatory  phrases  required  concilia- 
tion with  much  that  seemed  to  be  blank  indif- 
ference or  rare  self-mastery.  Heat  is  a  great 
agent  and  a  useful  word,  but  considered  as  a 
means  of  explaining  the  universe  it  requires  an 
extensive  knowledge  of  differences ;  and  as  a 
means  of  explaining  character  "sensitiveness"  is 
in  much  the  same  predicament.  But  who,  loving 
a  creature  like  Gwendolen,  would  not  be  inclined 
to  regard  every  peculiarity  in  her  as  a  mark  of 


pre-eminence?  That  was  what  Eex  did.  After 
the  Hermione  scene  he  was  more  persuaded  than 
ever  that  she  must  be  instinct  with  all  feeling, 
and  not  only  readier  to  respond  to  a  worshipful 
love,  but  able  to  love  better  than  other  girls.  Eex 
felt  the  summer  on  his  young  wings  and  soared 



"Perigot.  As  the  bonny  lasse  passed  bye, 
Willie.  Hey,  lio,  bonnilasse  ! 

P.  She  roode  at  me  with  glauncing  eye, 
W.  As  clear  as  the  crystal!  glasse. 
—      P,  All  as  the  smiuy  beame  so  bright, 
W.  Hey,  ho,  the  sunnebeame  ! 
P.  Glauneeth  from  Phoebns'  face  forthright, 
W.  So  love  into  thy  heart  did  streame." 

— Spekser  :  SJiepJieard's  Calendar. 

"The  kindliest  sjTnptom,  yet  the  most  alarming  crisis  in  the  ticklish 
state  of  youth ;  the  noirrisher  and  destroyer  of  hopeful  wits ;  .  .  .  the  servi- 
tude above  freedom ;  the  gentle  mind's  religion ;  the  liberal  superstition." 
— Charles  Lamb, 

The  first  sign  of  the  Tinimagiiied  snowstorm  was 
like  the  transparent  white  cloud  that  seems  to  set 
off  the  blue.  Anna  was  in  the  secret  of  Eex's 
feeling ;  though  for  the  first  time  in  their  lives 
he  had  said  nothing  to  her  about  what  he  most 
thought  of,  and  he  only  took  it  for  granted  that 
she  knew  it.  For  the  first  time,  too,  Anna  could 
not  say  to  Eex  what  was  continually  in  her  mind. 
Perhaps  it  might  have  been  a  pain  which  she  would 
have  had  to  conceal,  that  he  should  so  soon  care 


for  some  one  else  more  than  for  herself,  if  such 
a  feeling  had  not  been  thoroughly  neutralised  by- 
doubt  and  anxiety  on  his  behalf.  Anna  admired 
her  cousin — would  have  said  with  simple  sincerity, 
"  Gwendolen  is  always  very  good  to  me,"  and  held 
it  in  the  order  of  things  for  herself  to  be  entirely 
subject  to  this  cousin ;  but  she  looked  at  her  with 
mingled  fear  and  distrust,  with  a  puzzled  con- 
templation as  of  some  wondrous  and  beautiful 
animal  whose  nature  was  a  mystery,  and  who,  for 
anything  Anna  knew,  might  have  an  appetite  for 
devouring  all  the  small  creatures  that  were  her 
own  particular  pets.  And  now  Anna's  heart  was 
sinking  under  the  heavy  conviction  which  she 
dared  not  utter,  that  Gwendolen  would  never  care 
for  Rex.  What  she  herself  held  in  tenderness 
and  reverence  had  constantly  seemed  indifferent 
to  Gwendolen,  and  it  was  easier  to  imagine  her 
scorning  Eex  than  returning  any  tenderness  of 
his.  Besides,  she  was  always  thinking  of  being 
something  extraordinary.  And  poor  Rex  !  Papa 
would  be  angry  with  him,  if  he  knew.  And  of 
course  he  was  too  young  to  be  in  love  in  that  way; 
and  she,  Anna,  had  thought  that  it  would  be  years 
and  years  before  anything  of  that  sort  came,  and 
that  she  would  be  Rex's  housekeeper  ever  so  long. 
But  what  a  heart  must  that  be  which  did  not 

VOL.  I.  H 


return  his  love !  Anna,  in  the  prospect  of  his 
suffering,  was  beginning  to  dislike  her  too  fasci- 
nating cousin. 

It  seemed  to  her,  as  it  did  to  Eex,  that  the 
weeks  had  been  filled  with  a  tumultuous  life 
evident  to  all  observers :  if  he  had  been  questioned 
on  the  subject  he  would  have  said  that  he  had 
no  wish  to  conceal  what  he  hoped  would  be  an 
engagement  which  he  should  immediately  tell  his 
father  of ;  and  yet  for  the  first  time  in  his  life  he 
was  reserved  not  only  about  his  feelings  but — 
which  was  more  remarkable  to  Anna — about  cer- 
tain actions.  She,  on  her  side,  was  nervous  each 
time  her  father  or  mother  began  to  speak  to  her 
in  private  lest  they  should  say  anything  about 
Eex  and  Gwendolen.  But  the  elders  were  not  in 
the  least  alive  to  this  agitating  drama,  which  went 
forward  chiefly  in  a  sort  of  pantomime  extremely 
lucid  in  the  minds  thus  expressing  themselves, 
but  easily  missed  by  spectators  who  were  run- 
ning their  eyes  over  the  Guardian  or  the  Clerical 
Gazette,  and  regarded  the  trivialities  of  the  young 
ones  with  scarcely  more  interpretation  than  they 
gave  to  the  actions  of  lively  ants. 

"  Where  are  you  going,  Eex  ?"  said  Anna  one 
grey  morning  when  her  father  had  set  off  in  the 
carriage  to  the  sessions,  Mrs  Gascoigne  with  him, 


and  she  had  observed  that  her  brother  had  on  his 
antigropelos,  the  utmost  approach  he  possessed  to 
a  hunting  equipment. 

"  Going  to  see  the  hounds  throw  off  at  the  Three 

"  Are  you  going  to  take  Gwendolen  ? "  said 
Anna,  timidly. 

"  She  told  you,  did  she  ?" 

"  No,  but  I  thought Does  papa  know  you 

are  going?" 

"  Not  that  I  am  aware  of.  I  don't  suppose  he 
would  trouble  himself  about  the  matter." 

"  You  are  going  to  use  his  horse  ? " 

"  He  knows  I  do  that  whenever  I  can." 

"Don't  let  Gwendolen  ride  after  the  hounds, 
Rex,"  said  Anna,  whose  fears  gifted  her  with 

"Why  not?"  said  Eex,  smiling  rather  provok- 

"  Papa  and  mamma  and  aunt  Davilow  all  wish 
her  not  to.    They  think  it  is  not  right  for  her." 

"  Why  should  you  suppose  she  is  going  to  do 
what  is  not  right  ? " 

"  Gwendolen  minds  nobody  sometimes,"  said 
Anna,  getting  bolder  by  dint  of  a  little  anger. 

"  Then  she  would  not  mind  me,"  said  Eex,  per- 
versely making  a  joke  of  poor  Anna's  anxiety. 


"  Oh  Eex,  I  cannot  bear  ifc.  You  will  make  your- 
self very  unhappy."     Here  Anna  burst  into  tears. 

"  Nannie,  Nannie,  what  on  earth  is  the  matter 
with  you  ?"  said  Eex,  a  little  impatient  at  being 
kept  in  this  way,  hat  on  and  whip  in  hand. 

"She  will  not  care  for  you  one  bit — I  know 
she  never  will ! "  said  the  poor  child  in  a  sobbing 
whisper.     She  had  lost  all  control  of  herself. 

Eex  reddened  and  hurried  away  from  her  out 
of  the  hall  door,  leaving  her  to  the  miserable 
consciousness  of  having  made  herself  disagreeable 
in  vain. 

He  did  think  of  her  words  as  he  rode  along : 
they  had  the  unwelcomeness  which  all  unfavour- 
able fortune-telling  has,  even  when  laughed  at ; 
but  he  quickly  explained  them  as  springing  from 
little  Anna's  tenderness,  and  began  to  be  sorry  that 
he  was  obliged  to  come  away  without  soothing  her. 
Every  other  feeling  on  the  subject,  however,  was 
quickly  merged  in  a  resistant  belief  to  the  con- 
trary of  hers,  accompanied  with  a  new  determina- 
tion to  prove  that  he  was  right.  This  sort  of 
certainty  had  just  enough  kinship  to  doubt  and 
uneasiness  to  hurry  on  a  confession  which  an 
untouched  security  might  have  delayed. 

Gwendolen  was  already  mounted  and  riding 
up  and  down  the  avenue  when  Eex  appeared  at 


the  gate.  She  had  provided  herself  against  dis- 
appointment in  case  he  did  not  appear  in  time  by 
having  the  groom  ready  behind  her,  for  she  would 
not  have  waited  beyond  a  reasonable  time.  But 
now  the  groom  was  dismissed,  and  the  two  rode 
away  in  delightful  freedom.  Gwendolen  was  in 
her  highest  spirits,  and  Eex  thought  that  she  had 
never  looked  so  lovely  before :  her  figure,  her  long 
white  throat,  and  the  curves  of  her  cheek  and 
chin  were  always  set  off  to  perfection  by  the  com- 
pact simplicity  of  her  riding  dress.  He  could  not 
conceive  a  more  perfect  girl ;  and  to  a  youthful 
lover  like  Eex  it  seems  that  the  fundamental 
identity  of  the  good,  the  true,  and  the  beautiful,  is 
already  extant  and  manifest  in  the  object  of  his 
love.  Most  observers  would  have  held  it  more 
than  equally  accountable  that  a  girl  should  have 
like  impressions  about  Eex,  for  in  his  handsome 
face  there  was  nothing  corresponding  to  the  un- 
definable  stinging  quality — as  it  were  a  trace  of 
demon  ancestry  —  which  made  some  beholders 
hesitate  in  their  admiration  of  Gwendolen. 

It  was  an  exquisite  January  morning  in  which 
there  was  no  threat  of  rain,  but  a  grey  sky 
making  the  calmest  background  for  the  charms  of 
a  mild  winter  scene : — the  grassy  borders  of  the 
lanes,  the  hedgerows  sprinkled  with  red  berries 


and  haunted  with  low  twitterings,  the  purple  bare- 
ness of  the  elms,  the  rich  brown  of  the  furrows. 
The  horses'  hoofs  made  a  musical  chime,  accom- 
panying their  young  voices.  She  was  laughing  at 
his  equipment,  for  he  was  the  reverse  of  a  dandy, 
and  he  was  enjoying  her  laughter :  the  freshness  of 
the  morning  mingled  with  the  freshness  of  their 
youth;  and  every  sound  that  came  from  their  clear 
throats,  every  glance  they  gave  each  other,  was  the 
bubbling  outflow  from  a  spring  of  joy.  It  was  all 
morning  to  them,  within  and  without.  And  think- 
ing of  them  in  these  moments  one  is  tempted  to 
that  futile  sort  of  wishing — if  only  things  could 
have  been  a  little  otherwise  then,  so  as  to  have 
been  greatly  otherwise  after ! — if  only  these  two 
beautiful  young  creatures  could  have  pledged 
themselves  to  each  other  then  and  there,  and 
never  through  life  have  swerved  from  that  pledge ! 
For  some  of  the  goodness  which  Eex  believed  in 
was  there.  Goodness  is  a  large,  often  a  prospec- 
tive word ;  like  harvest,  which  at  one  stage  when 
we  talk  of  it  lies  all  underground,  with  an  inde- 
terminate future  :  is  the  germ  prospering  in  the 
darkness?  at  another,  it  has  put  forth  delicate 
green  blades,  and  by-and-by  the  trembling  blos- 
soms are  ready  to  be  dashed  off  by  an  hour  of 
rough  wind  or  rain.     Each  stage  has  its  peculiar 


blight,  and  may  have  the  healthy  life  choked  out 
of  it  by  a  particular  action  of  the  foul  land  which 
rears  or  neighbours  it,  or  by  damage  brought  from 
foulness  afar. 

"  Anna  had  got  it  into  her  head  that  you  would 
want  to  ride  after  the  hounds  this  morning,"  said 
Eex,  whose  secret  associations  with  Anna's  words 
made  this  speech  seem  quite  perilously  near  the 
most  momentous  of  subjects. 

"Did  she?"  said  Gwendolen,  laughingly. 
"  What  a  little  clairvoyante  she  is ! " 

"  Shall  you  ? "  said  Kex,  who  had  not  believed 
in  her  intending  to  do  it  if  the  elders  objected, 
but  confided  in  her  having  good  reasons. 

"  I  don't  know.  I  can't  tell  what  I  shall  do  till 
I  get  there.  Clairvoyantes  are  often  wrong :  they 
foresee  what  is  likely.  I  am  not  fond  of  what  is 
likely ;  it  is  always  dull.     I  do  what  is  unlikely." 

"  Ah,  there  you  tell  me  a  secret.  When  once  I 
knew  what  people  in  general  would  be  likely  to 
do,  I  should  know  you  would  do  the  opposite. 
So  you  would  have  come  round  to  a  likelihood 
of  your  own  sort.  I  shall  be  able  to  calculate 
on  you.    You  couldn't  surprise  me." 

"  Yes,  I  could.  I  should  turn  round  and  do 
what  was  likely  for  people  in  general,"  said  Gwen- 
dolen, with  a  musical  laugh. 


"  You  see  you  can't  escape  some  sort  of  likeli- 
hood. And  contradictoriness  makes  the  strongest 
likelihood  of  all.     You  must  give  up  a  plan." 

"No,  I  shall  not.  My  plan  is  to  do  what 
pleases  me."  (Here  should  any  young  lady  in- 
cline to  imitate  Gwendolen,  let  her  consider  the 
set  of  her  head  and  neck :  if  the  angle  there  had 
been  different,  the  chin  protrusive  and  the  cervical 
vertebrae  a  trifle  more  curved  in  their  position,  ten 
to  one  Gwendolen's  words  would  have  had  a  jar 
in  them  for  the  sweet-natured  Rex.  But  every- 
thing odd  in  her  speech  was  humour  and  pretty 
banter,  which  he  was  only  anxious  to  turn  to- 
wards one  point.) 

"Can  you  manage  to  feel  only  what  pleases 
you  ? "  said  he. 

"  Of  course  not ;  that  comes  from  what  other 
people  do.  But  if  the  world  were  pleasanter, 
one  would  only  feel  what  was  pleasant.  Girls' 
lives  are  so  stupid :  they  never  do  what  they  like." 

"  I  thought  that  was  more  the  case  of  the  men. 
They  are  forced  to  do  hard  things,  and  are  often 
dreadfully  bored,  and  knocked  to  pieces  too.  And 
then,  if  we  love  a  girl  very  dearly  we  want  to  do 
as  she  likes,  so  after  all  you  have  your  own  way." 

"  I  don't  believe  it.  I  never  saw  a  married 
woman  who  had  her  own  way." 


"  What  should  you  like  to  do  ? "  said  Rex,  quite 
guilelessly,  and  in  real  anxiety. 

"  Oh,  I  don't  know ! — go  to  the  North  Pole,  or 
ride  steeplechases,  or  go  to  be  a  queen  in  the 
East  like  Lady  Hester  Stanhope,"  said  G  wendolen, 
flightily.  Her  words  were  born  on  her  lips,  but 
she  would  have  been  at  a  loss  to  give  an  answer 
of  deeper  origin. 

"  You  don't  mean  you  would  never  be  married." 

"  No ;  I  didn't  gay  that.  Only  when  I  married, 
I  should  not  do  as  other  women  do." 

"  You  might  do  just  as  you  liked  if  you  married 
a  man  who  loved  you  more  dearly  than  anything 
else  in  the  world,"  said  Eex,  who,  poor  youth,  was 
moving  in  themes  outside  the  curriculum  in  which 
he  had  promised  to  win  distinction.  "  I  know 
one  who  does." 

"  Don't  talk  of  Mr  Middleton,  for  heaven's  sake," 
said  Gwendolen,  hastily,  a  quick  blush  spreading 
over  her  face  and  neck;  "that  is  Anna's  chant. 
I  hear  the  hounds.     Let  us  go  on." 

She  put  her  chestnut  to  a  canter,  and  Rex  had 
no  choice  but  to  follow  her.  Still  he  felt  en- 
couraged. Gwendolen  was  perfectly  aware  that 
her  cousin  was  in  love  with  her ;  but  she  had 
no  idea  that  the  matter  was  of  any  consequence, 
having  never  had  the  slightest  visitation  of  pain- 


M  love  herself.  She  wished  the  small  romance 
of  Eex's  devotion  to  fill  up  the  time  of  his  stay  at 
Pennicote,  and  to  avoid  explanations  which  would 
bring  it  to  an  untimely  end.  Besides,  she  object- 
ed, with  a  sort  of  physical  repulsion,  to  being 
directly  made  love  to.  With  all  her  imaginative 
delight  in  being  adored,  there  was  a  certain  fierce- 
ness of  maidenhood  in  her. 

But  all  other  thoughts  were  soon  lost  for  her  in 
the  excitement  of  the  scene  at  the  Three  Barns. 
Several  gentlemen  of  the  hunt  knew  her,  and  she 
exchanged  pleasant  greetings.  Kex  could  not  get 
another  word  with  her.  The  colour,  the  stir  of  the 
field  had  taken  possession  of  Gwendolen  with  a 
strength  which  was  not  due  to  habitual  associa- 
tion, for  she  had  never  yet  ridden  after  the  hounds 
— only  said  she  should  like  to  do  it,  and  so  drawn 
forth  a  prohibition  ;  her  mamma  dreading  the 
danger,  and  her  uncle  declaring  that  for  his  part 
he  held  that  kind  of  violent  exercise  unseemly  in  a 
woman,  and  that  whatever  might  be  done  in  other 
parts  of  the  country,  no  lady  of  good  position  fol- 
lowed the  Wessex  hunt :  no  one  but  Mrs  Gadsby, 
the  yeomanry  captain's  wife,  who  had  been  a 
kitchen-maid  and  still  spoke  like  one.  This  last 
argument  had  some  effect  on  Gwendolen,  and  had 
kept  her  halting  between  her  desire  to  assert  her 


freedom  and  her  horror  of  being  classed  with  Mrs 

Some  of  the  most  unexceptionable  women  in 
the  neighbourhood  occasionally  went  to  see  the 
hounds  throw  off ;  but  it  happened  that  none  of 
them  were  present  this  morning  to  abstain  from 
following,  while  Mrs  Gadsby,  with  her  doubtful 
antecedents  grammatical  and  otherwise,  was  not 
visible  to  make  following  seem  unbecoming. 
Thus  Gwendolen  felt  no  check  on  the  animal 
stimulus  that  came  from  the  stir  and  tongue  of 
the  hounds,  the  pawing  of  the  horses,  the  varying 
voices  of  men,  the  movement  hither  and  thither 
of  vivid  colour  on  the  background  of  green  and 
grey  stillness : — that  utmost  excitement  of  the 
coming  chase  which  consists  in  feeling  something 
like  a  combination  of  dog  and  horse,  with  the 
superadded  thrill  of  social  vanities  and  conscious- 
ness of  centaur-power  which  belong  to  human  kind. 

Eex  would  have  felt  more  of  the  same  enjoy- 
ment if  he  could  have  kept  nearer  to  Gwendolen, 
and  not  seen  her  constantly  occupied  with  acquaint- 
ances, or  looked  at  by  would-be  acquaintances,  all 
on  lively  horses  which  veered  about  and  swept 
the  surrounding  space  as  effectually  as  a  revolv- 
ing lever. 

"  Glad  to  see  you  here  this  fine  morning.  Miss 


Harleth,"  said  Lord  Brackenshaw,  a  middle-aged 
peer  of  aristocratic  seediness  in  stained  pink,  with 
easy-going  manners  which  would  have  made  the 
threatened  Deluge  seem  of  no  consequence.  "  We 
shall  have  a  first-rate  run.  A  pity  you  don't  go 
with  us.  Have  you  ever  tried  your  little  chestnut 
at  a  ditch  ?  you  wouldn't  be  afraid,  eh  ? " 

"  Not  the  least  in  the  world,"  said  Gwendolen. 
And  this  w^as  true  ;  she  was  never  fearful  in 
action  and  companionship.  "  I  have  often  taken 
him  at  some  rails  and  a  ditch  too,  near " 

"  Ah,  by  Jove  ! "  said  his  lordship,  quietly,  in 
notation  that  something  was  happening  which 
must  break  off  the  dialogue  ;  and  as  he  reined  off 
his  horse,  Rex  was  bringing  his  sober  hackney  up 

to  Gwendolen's   side  when the  hounds  gave 

tongue,  and  the  w^hole  field  was  in  motion  as  if 
the  whirl  of  the  earth  were  carrying  it ;  Gwen- 
dolen along  wdth  everything  else ;  no  word  of 
notice  to  Rex,  who  without  a  second  thought 
followed  too.  Could  he  let  Gwendolen  go  alone  ? 
under  other  circumstances  he  would  have  enjoyed 
the  run,  but  he  was  just  now  perturbed  by  the 
check  which  had  been  put  on  the  impetus  to  utter 
his  love,  and  get  utterance  in  return,  an  impetus 
which  could  not  at  once  resolve  itself  into  a 
totally  different  sort  of  chase,  at  least  with  the 


consciousness  of  being  on  his  father's  grey  nag,  a 
good  horse  enough  in  his  way,  but  of  sober  years 
and  ecclesiastical  habits.  Gwendolen  on  her 
spirited  little  chestnut  was  up  with  the  best,  and 
felt  as  secure  as  an  immortal  goddess,  having,  if 
she  had  thought  of  risk,  a  core  of  confidence  that 
no  ill  luck  would  happen  to  her.  But  she  thought 
of  no  such  thing,  and  certainly  not  of  any  risk 
there  might  be  for  her  cousin.  If  she  had  thought 
of  him,  it  would  have  struck  her  as  a  droll  picture 
that  he  should  be  gradually  falling  behind,  and 
looking  round  in  search  of  gates  :  a  fine  lithe  youth, 
whose  heart  must  be  panting  with  all  the  spirit  of 
a  beagle,  stuck  as  if  under  a  wizard's  spell  on  a 
stiff  clerical  hackney,  would  have  made  her  laugh 
with  a  sense  of  fun  much  too  strong  for  her  to 
reflect  on  his  mortification.  But  Gwendolen  was 
apt  to  think  rather  of  those  who  saw  her  than 
of  those  whom  she  could  not  see  ;  and  Eex  was 
soon  so  far  behind  that  if  she  had  looked  she 
w^ould  not  have  seen  him.  For  I  grieve  to  say 
that  in  the  search  for  a  gate,  along  a  lane  lately 
mended,  Primrose  fell,  broke  his  knees,  and  un- 
designedly threw  Rex  over  his  head. 

Fortunately  a  blacksmith's  sou  who  also  fol- 
lowed the  hounds  under  disadvantages,  namely, 
on    foot    (a   loose  way   of  hunting   which   had 


struck  some  even  frivolous  minds  as  immoral), 
was  naturally  also  in  the  rear,  and  happened 
to  be  within  sight  of  Eex's  misfortune.  He 
ran  to  give  help  which  was  greatly  needed, 
for  Eex  was  a  good  deal  stunned,  and  the  com- 
plete recovery  of  sensation  came  in  the  form 
of  pain.  Joel  Dagge  on  this  occasion  showed 
himself  that  most  useful  of  personages,  whose 
knowledge  is  of  a  kind  suited  to  the  immediate 
occasion :  he  not  only  knew  perfectly  well  what 
was  the  matter  with  the  horse,  how  far  they  were 
both  from  the  nearest  public-house  and  from 
Pennicote  Eectory,  and  could  certify  to  Eex  that 
his  shoulder  was  only  a  bit  out  of  joint,  but  also 
offered  experienced  surgical  aid. 

"  Lord,  sir,  let  me  shove  it  in  again  for  you ! 
I's  see  Nash  the  bone-setter  do  it,  and  done  it 
myseK  for  our  little  Sally  twice  over.  It's  all  one 
and  the  same,  shoulders  is.  If  you'U  trusten  to 
me  and  tighten  your  mind  up  a  bit,  I'll  do  it  for 
you  in  no  time." 

"  Come  then,  old  fellow,"  said  Eex,  who  could 
tighten  his  mind  better  than  his  seat  in  the  saddle. 
And  Joel  managed  the  operation,  though  not 
without  considerable  expense  of  pain  to  his 
patient,  who  turned  so  pitiably  pale  while  tighten- 
ing his  mind,  that  Joel  remarked,  "  Ah,  sir,  you 


aren't  used  to  it,  that's  how  it  is.  I's  see  lots 
and  lots  o'  joints  out.  I  see  a  man  with  his  eye 
pushed  out  once — that  was  a  rum  go  as  ever  I  see. 
You  can't  have  a  bit  o'  fun  wi'out  such  a  sort  o' 
things.  But  it  went  in  again.  I's  swallowed 
three  teeth  mysen,  as  sure  as  I'm  alive.  Now, 
sirrey "  (this  was  addressed  to  Primrose),  "  come 
alonk — you  mustn't  make  believe  as  you  can't." 

Joel  being  clearly  a  low  character,  it  is  happily 
not  necessary  to  say  more  of  him  to  the  refined 
reader,  than  that  he  helped  Eex  to  get  home  with 
as  little  delay  as  possible.  There  was  no  alterna- 
tive but  to  get  home,  though  all  the  while  he  was 
in  anxiety  about  Gwendolen,  and  more  miserable 
in  the  thought  that  she  too  might  have  had  an 
accident,  than  in  the  pain  of  his  own  bruises  and 
the  annoyance  he  was  about  to  cause  his  father. 
He  comforted  himself  about  her  by  reflecting  that 
every  one  would  be  anxious  to  take  care  of  her, 
and  that  some  acquaintance  would  be  sure  to  con- 
duct her  home. 

Mr  Gascoigne  was  already  at  home,  and  was  writ- 
ing letters  in  his  study,  when  he  was  interrupted 
by  seeing  poor  Eex  come  in  with  a  face  which 
was  not  the  less  handsome  and  ingratiating  for 
being  pale  and  a  little  distressed.  He  was  secretly 
the  favourite  son,  and  a  young  portrait  of  the 


father  ;  who,  however,  never  treated  him  with  any 
partiality  —  rather,  with  an  extra  rigour.  Mr 
Gascoigne  having  inquired  of  Anna,  knew  that 
Rex  had  gone  with  Gwendolen  to  the  meet  at 
the  Three  Barns. 

"  What's  the  matter  ?  "  he  said,  hastily,  not  lay- 
ing down  his  pen. 

"  I'm  very  sorry,  sir ;  Primrose  has  fallen  down 
and  broken  his  knees." 

''  Where  have  you  been  with  him  ? "  said  Mr 
Gascoigne,  with  a  touch  of  severity.  He  rarely 
gave  way  to  temper. 

"To  the  Three  Barns  to  see  the  hounds  throw  off." 

"  And  you  were  fool  enough  to  follow  ?  " 

"  Yes,  sir.  I  didn't  go  at  any  fences,  but  the 
horse  got  his  leg  into  a  hole." 

"  And  you  got  hurt  yourself,  I  hope,  eh  ? " 

"  I  got  my  shoulder  put  out,  but  a  young  black- 
smith put  it  in  again  for  me.  I'm  just  a  little 
battered,  that's  all." 

"  Well,  sit  down." 

"  I'm  very  sorry  about  the  horse,  sir.  I  knew 
it  would  be  a  vexation  to  you." 

"  And  what  has  become  of  Gwendolen  ?  "  said 
Mr  Gascoigne,  abruptly.  Rex,  who  did  not 
imagine  that  his  father  had  made  any  inquiries 
about  him,  answered  at  first  with  a  blush  which 


was  the  more  remarkable  for  his  previous  paleness. 
Then  he  said,  nervously — 

"  I  am  anxious  to  know — I  should  like  to  go  or 
send  at  once  to  Offendene — but  she  rides  so  well, 
and  I  think  she  would  keep  up — there  would  most 
likely  be  many  round  her." 

"  I  suppose  it  was  she  who  led  you  on,  eh  ? " 
said  Mr  Gascoigne,  laying  down  his  pen,  leaning 
back  in  his  chair,  and  looking  at  Rex  with  more 
marked  examination. 

"  It  was  natural  for  her  to  want  to  go ;  she 
didn't  intend  it  beforehand — she  was  led  away  by 
the  spirit  of  the  thing.  And  of  course  I  went 
when  she  went." 

Mr  Gascoigne  left  a  brief  interval  of  silence,  and 
then  said  with  quiet  irony,  "  But  now  you  observe, 
young  gentleman,  that  you  are  not  furnished 
with  a  horse  which  will  enable  you  to  play  the 
squire  to  your  cousin.  You  must  give  up  that 
amusement.  You  have  spoiled  my  nag'for  me,  and 
that  is  enough  mischief  for  one  vacation.  I  shall 
beg  you  to  get  ready  to  start  for  Southampton  to- 
morrow and  join  Stillfox,  till  you  go  up  to  Oxford 
with  him.  That  will  be  good  for  your  bruises  as 
well  as  your  studies." 

Poor  Eex  felt  his  heart  swelling  and  comporting 
itself  as  if  it  had  been  no  better  than  a  girl's. 

VOL.  L  1 


"  I  hope  you  will  not  insist  on  my  going  im- 
mediately, sir." 

"Do  you  feel  too  ill?" 

"  No,  not  that — but "  here  Eex  bit  his  lips 

and  felt  the  tears  starting,  to  his  great  vexation ; 
then  he  rallied  and  tried  to  say  more  firmly,  "  I 
want  to  go  to  Ofifendene  —  but  I  can  go  this 

"  I  am  going  there  myself.  I  can  bring  word 
about  Gwendolen,  if  that  is  what  you  want." 

Eex  broke  down.  He  thought  he  discerned  an 
intention  fatal  to  his  happiness,  nay,  his  life.  He 
was  accustomed  to  believe  in  his  father's  pene- 
tration, and  to  expect  firmness.  "  Father,  I  can't 
go  away  without  telling  her  that  I  love  her,  and 
knowing  that  she  loves  me." 

Mr  Gascoigne  was  inwardly  going  through  some 
self-rebuke  for  not  being  more  wary,  and  was  now 
really  sorry  for  the  lad ;  but  every  consideration 
was  subordinate  to  that  of  using  the  wisest  tactics 
in  the  case.  He  had  quickly  made  up  his  mind, 
and  could  answer  the  more  quietly — 

"  My  dear  boy,  you  are  too  young  to  be  taking 
momentous,  decisive  steps  of  that  sort.  This  is  a 
fancy  which  you  have  got  into  your  head  during 
an  idle  week  or  two:  you  must  set  to  work  at 
something  and  dismiss  it.     There  is  every  reason 


against  it.  An  engagement  at  your  age  would 
be  totally  rash  and  unjustifiable ;  and  moreover, 
alliances  between  first  cousins  are  undesirable. 
Make  up  your  mind  to  a  brief  disappointment.  Life 
is  full  of  them.  We  have  all  got  to  be  broken  in  ; 
and  this  is  a  mild  beginning  for  you." 

"  No,  not  mild.  I  can't  bear  it.  I  shall  be  good 
for  nothing.  I  shouldn't  mind  anything,  if  it  were 
settled  between  us.  I  could  do  anything  then," 
said  Eex,  impetuously.  "But  it's  of  no  use  to 
pretend  that  I  will  obey  you.  I  can't  do  it.  If 
I  said  I  would,  I  should  be  sure  to  break  my 
word.     I  should  see  Gwendolen  again." 

"Well,  wait  till  to-morrow  morning  that  we 
may  talk  of  the  matter  again — you  will  promise 
me  that,"  said  Mr  Gascoigne,  quietly;  and  Kex 
did  not,  could  not  refuse. 

The  Rector  did  not  even  tell  his  wife  that  he 
had  any  other  reason  for  going  to  Offendene  that 
evening  than  his  desire  to  ascertain  that  Gwen- 
dolen had  got  home  safely.  He  found  her  more 
than  safe — elated.  Mr  Quallon,  who  had  won  the 
brush,  had  delivered  the  trophy  to  her,  and  she 
had  brought  it  before  her,  fastened  on  the  saddle ; 
more  than  that.  Lord  Brackenshaw  had  conducted 
her  home,  and  had  shown  himself  delighted  with 
her  spirited  riding.     All  this  was  told  at  once  to 


her  uncle,  that  he  might  see  how  well  justified  she 
had  been  in  acting  against  his  advice ;  and  the 
prudential  Rector  did  feel  himself  in  a  slight  dif- 
ficulty, for  at  that  moment  he  was  particularly 
sensible  that  it  was  his  niece's  serious  interest 
to  be  well  regarded  by  the  Brackenshaws,  and 
their  opinion  as  to  her  following  the  hounds  really 
touched  the  essence  of  his  objection.  However, 
he  was  not  obliged  to  say  anything  immediately, 
for  Mrs  Davilow  followed  up  Gwendolen's  brief 
triumphant  phrases  with — 

"Still,  I  do  hope  you  will  not  do  it  again, 
Gwendolen.  I  should  never  have  a  moment's 
quiet.  Her  father  died  by  an  accident,  you 

Here  Mrs  Davilow  had  turned  away  from 
Gwendolen,  and  looked  at  Mr  Gascoigne. 

"Mamma  dear,"  said  Gwendolen,  kissing  her 
merrily,  and  passing  over  the  question  of  the 
fears  which  Mrs  Davilow  had  meant  to  account 
for,  "children  don't  take  after  their  parents  in 
broken  legs." 

Not  one  word  had  yet  been  said  about  Rex.  In. 
fact  there  had  been  no  anxiety  about  him  at  Oflfen- 
dene.  Gwendolen  had  observed  to  her  mamma, 
"  Oh,  he  must  have  been  left  far  behind,  and  gone 
home  in  despair,"  and  it  could  not  be  denied  that 


this  was  fortunate  so  far  as  it  made  way  for 
Lord  Bracken  shawls  bringing  her  home.  But  now 
Mr  Gascoigne  said,  with  some  emphasis,  looking 
at  Gwendolen — 

"Well,  the  exploit  has  ended  better  for  you 
than  for  Kex." 

"  Yes,  I  daresay  he  had  to  make  a  terrible  round. 
You  have  not  taught  Primrose  to  take  the  fences, 
uncle,"  said  Gwendolen,  without  the  faintest 
shade  of  alarm  in  her  looks  and  tone. 

"  Rex  has  had  a  fall,"  said  Mr  Gascoigne,  curt- 
ly, throwing  himself  into  an  arm-chair,  resting 
his  elbows  and  fitting  his  palms  and  fingers  to- 
gether, while  he  closed  his  lips  and  looked  at 
Gwendolen,  who  said — 

"  Oh,  poor  fellow !  he  is  not  hurt,  I  hope  ? " 
with  a  correct  look  of  anxiety  such  as  elated 
mortals  try  to  superinduce  when  their  pulses  are 
all  the  while  quick  with  triumph;  and  Mrs 
Davilow,  in  the  same  moment,  uttered  a  low 
"  Good  heavens  !     There  ! " 

Mr  Gascoigne  went  on  :  "  He  put  his  shoulder 
out,  and  got  some  bruises,  I  believe."  Here  he 
made  another  little  pause  of  observation;  but 
Gwendolen,  instead  of  any  such  symptoms  as 
pallor  and  silence,  had  only  deepened  the  com- 
passionateness  of  her  brow  and  eyes,  and   said 


again,  "  Oh,  poor  fellow !  it  is  nothing  serious, 
then?"  and  Mr  Gascoigne  held  his  diagnosis 
complete.  But  he  wished  to  make  assurance 
doubly  sure,  and  went  on  still  with  a  purpose. 

"  He  got  his  arm  set  again  rather  oddly.  Some 
blacksmith — not  a  parishioner  of  mine — was  on 
the  field — a  loose  fish,  I  suppose,  but  handy,  and 
set  the  arm  for  him  immediately.  So  after  all, 
I  believe,  I  and  Primrose  come  off  worst.  The 
horse's  knees  are  cut  to  pieces.  He  came  down  in 
a  hole,  it  seems,  and  pitched  Eex  over  his  head." 

Gwendolen's  face  had  allowably  become  con- 
tented again,  since  Eex's  arm  had  been  reset;  and 
now,  at  the  descriptive  suggestions  in  the  latter 
part  of  her  uncle's  speech,  her  elated  spirits  made 
her  features  less  manageable  than  usual ;  the  smiles 
broke  forth,  and  finally  a  descending  scale  of 

"  You  are  a  pretty  young  lady — to  laugh  at 
other  people's  calamities,"  said  Mr  Gascoigne, 
with  a  milder  sense  of  disapprobation  than  if 
he  had  not  had  counteracting  reasons  to  be  glad 
that  Gwendolen  showed  no  deep  feeling  on  the 

"  Pray  forgive  me,  uncle.  Now  Eex  is  safe,  it 
is  so  droll  to  fancy  the  figure  he  and  Primrose 
would  cut — in  a  lane  all  by  themselves — only  a 


blacksmith  running  up.  It  would  make  a  capital 
caricature  of  *  Following  the  hounds.' " 

Gwendolen  rather  valued  herself  on  her  su- 
perior freedom  in  laughing  where  others  might 
only  see  matter  for  seriousness.  Indeed,  the 
laughter  became  her  person  so  well  that  her 
opinion  of  its  gracefulness  was  often  shared  by 
others ;  and  it  even  entered  into  her  uncle's  course 
of  thought  at  this  moment,  that  it  was  no  wonder 
a  boy  should  be  fascinated  by  this  young  witch — 
who,  however,  was  more  mischievous  than  could 
be  desired. 

"  How  can  you  laugh  at  broken  bones,  child  ? " 
said  Mrs  Davilow,  still  under  her  dominant 
anxiety.  "  I  wish  we  had  never  allowed  you  to 
have  the  horse.  You  will  see  that  we  were 
wrong,"  she  added,  looking  with  a  grave  nod  at 
Mr  Gascoigne — "  at  least  I  was,  to  encourage  her 
in  asking  for  it." 

"Yes,  seriously,  Gwendolen,"  said  Mr  Gas- 
coigne, in  a  judicious  tone  of  rational  advice  to  a 
person  understood  to  be  altogether  rational,  "  I 
strongly  recommend  you  —  I  shall  ask  you  to 
oblige  me  so  far — not  to  repeat  your  adventure 
to-day.  Lord  Brackenshaw  is  very  kind,  but  I 
feel  sure  that  he  would  concur  with  me  in  what 
I  say.    To  be  spoken  of  as  the  young  lady  who 


hunts  by  way  of  exception,  would  give  a  tone  to 
the  language  about  you  which  I  am  sure  you 
would  not  like.  Depend  upon  it,  his  lordship 
would  not  choose  that  Lady  Beatrice  or  Lady 
Maria  should  hunt  in  this  part  of  the  country,  if 
they  were  old  enough  to  do  so.  When  you  are 
married,  it  will  be  different :  you  may  do  what- 
ever your  husband  sanctions.  But  if  you  intend 
to  hunt,  you  must  marry  a  man  who  can  keep 

"  I  don't  know  why  I  should  do  anything  so 
horrible  as  to  marry  without  that  prospect,  at 
least,"  said  Gwendolen,  pettishly.  Her  uncle's 
speech  had  given  her  annoyance,  which  she  could 
not  show  more  directly ;  but  she  felt  that  she  was 
committing  herself,  and  after  moving  carelessly 
to  another  part  of  the  room,  went  out. 

"  She  always  speaks  in  that  way  about  mar- 
riage," said  Mrs  Davilow ;  "  but  it  will  be  differ- 
ent when  she  has  seen  the  right  person." 

"  Her  heart  has  never  been  in  the  least  touched, 
that  you  know  of  ? "  said  Mr  Gascoigne. 

Mrs  Davilow  shook  her  head  silently.  "  It  was 
only  last  night  she  said  to  me,  'Mamma,  I  won- 
der how  girls  manage  to  fall  in  love.  It  is  easy 
to  make  them  do  it  in  books.  But  men  are  too 
ridiculous.' " 


Mr  Gascoigne  laughed  a  little,  and  made  no 
further  remark  on  the  subject.  The  next  morn- 
ing at  breakfast  he  said — ^ 

"  How  are  your  bruises,  T?ex  ?" 

"  Oh,  not  very  mellow  )  cl,  sir ;  only  beginning 
to  turn  a  little." 

"  You  don't  feel  quite  ready  for  a  journey  to 
Southampton  ? " 

"  Not  quite,"  answered  Eex,  with  his  heart  meta- 
phorically in  his  mouth. 

"  Well,  you  can  wait  till  to-morrow,  and  go  to 
say  good-bye  to  them  at  Offendene." 

Mrs  Gascoigne,  who  now  knew  the  whole  affair, 
looked  steadily  at  her  coffee  lest  she  also  should 
begin  to  cry,  as  Anna  was  doing  already. 

Mr  Gascoigne  felt  that  he  was  applying  a  sharp 
remedy  to  poor  Eex's  acute  attack,  but  he  believed 
it  to  be  in  the  end  the  kindest.  To  let  him  know 
the  hopelessness  of  his  love  from  Gwendolen's  own 
lips  might  be  curative  in  more  ways  than  one. 

"  I  can  only  be  thankful  that  she  doesn't  care 
about  him,"  said  Mrs  Gascoigne,  when  she  joined 
her  husband  in  his  study.  "  There  are  things  in 
Gwendolen  I  cannot  reconcile  myself  to.  My 
Anna  is  worth  two  of  her,  with  all  her  beauty 
and  talent.  It  looks  so  very  ill  in  her  that  she 
will  not  help  in  the  schools  with  Anna — not  even 


in  the  Sunday-school.  "What  you  or  I  advise  is 
of  no  consequence  to  her ;  and  poor  Fanny  is  com- 
pletely under  her  thumb.  But  I  know  you  think 
better  of  her/'  Mrs  Gascoigne  ended  with  a  de- 
ferential hesitation. 

"  Oh,  my  dear,  there  is  no  harm  in  the  girl.  It 
is  only  that  she  has  a  high  spirit,  and  it  will  not 
do  to  hold  the  reins  too  tight.  The  point  is,  to  get 
her  well  married.  She  has  a  little  too  much  fire 
in  her  for  her  present  life  with  her  mother  and 
sisters.  It  is  natural  and  right  that  she  should  be 
married  soon — not  to  a  poor  man,  but  one  who 
can  give  her  a  fitting  position." 

Presently  Eex,  with  his  arm  in  a  sling,  was  on 
his  two  miles'  walk  to  OfFendene.  He  was  rather 
puzzled  by  the  unconditional  permission  to  see 
Gwendolen,  but  his  father's  real  ground  of  action 
could  not  enter  into  his  conjectures.  If  it  had, 
he  would  first  have  thought  it  horribly  cold- 
blooded, and  then  have  disbelieved  in  his  father's 

When  he  got  to  the  house,  everybody  was  there 
but  Gwendolen.  The  four  girls,  hearing  him 
speak  in  the  hall,  rushed  out  of  the  library,  which 
was  their  schoolroom,  and  hung  round  him  with 
compassionate  inquiries  about  his  arm.  Mrs 
Davilow  wanted  to  know  exactly  what  had  hap- 


pened,  and  where  the  blacksmith  lived,  that  she 
might  make  him  a  present;  while  Miss  Merry, 
who  took  a  subdued  and  melancholy  part  in  all 
family  affairs,  doubted  whether  it  would  not  be 
giving  too  much  encouragement  to  that  kind  of 
character.  Kex  had  never  found  the  family  trouble- 
some before,  but  just  now  he  wished  them  all  away 
and  Gwendolen  there,  and  he  was  too  uneasy  for 
good-natured  feigning.  When  at  last  he  had  said, 
"Where  is  Gwendolen?"  and  Mrs  Davilow  had 
told  Alice  to  go  and  see  if  her  sister  were  come 
down,  adding,  "I  sent  up  her  breakfast  this 
morning.  She  needed  a  long  rest," — Eex  took 
the  shortest  way  out  of  his  endurance  by  saying, 
almost  impatiently,  "Aunt,  I  want  to  speak  to 
Gwendolen — I  want  to  see  her  alone." 

"Very  well,  dear;  go  into  the  drawing-room. 
I  will  send  her  there,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  who  had 
observed  that  he  was  fond  of  being  with  Gwen- 
dolen, as  was  natural,  but  had  not  thought  of  this 
as  having  any  bearing  on  the  realities  of  life :  it 
seemed  merely  part  of  the  Christmas  holidays 
which  were  spinning  themselves  out. 

Eex  for  his  part  felt  that  the  realities  of  life 
were  all  hanging  on  this  interview.  He  had  to 
walk  up  and  down  the  drawing-room  in  expecta- 
tion for  nearly  ten  minutes — ample  space  for  all 


imaginative  fluctuations ;  yet,  strange  to  say,  he 
was  unvaryingly  occupied  in  thinking  what  and 
how  much  he  could  do,  when  Gwendolen  had 
accepted  him,  to  satisfy  his  father  that  the  engage- 
ment was  the  most  prudent  thing  in  the  world, 
since  it  inspired  him  with  double  energy  for 
work.  He  was  to  be  a  lawyer,  and  what  reason 
was  there  why  he  should  not  rise  as  high  as 
Eldon  did  ?  He  was  forced  to  look  at  life  in  the 
light  of  his  father's  mind. 

But  when  the  door  opened  and  she  whose  pres- 
ence he  was  longing  for  entered,  there  came  over 
him  suddenly  and  mysteriously  a  state  of  tremor 
and  distrust  which  he  had  never  felt  before.  Miss 
Gwendolen,  simple  as  she  stood  there,  in  her  black 
silk,  cut  square  about  the  round  white  pillar  of 
her  throat,  a  black  band  fastening  her  hair  which 
streamed  backwards  in  smooth  silky  abundance, 
seemed  more  queenly  than  usual.  Perhaps  it  was 
that  there  was  none  of  the  latent  fun  and  tricksi- 
ness  which  had  always  pierced  in  her  greeting  of 
Kex.  How  much  of  this  was  due  to  her  presenti- 
ment from  what  he  had  said  yesterday  that  he 
was  going  to  talk  of  love  ?  How  much  from  her 
desire  to  show  regret  about  his  accident  ?  Some- 
thing of  both.  But  the  wisdom  of  ages  has  hinted 
that  there  is  a  side  of  the  bed  which  has  a  malign 


influence  if  you  happen  to  get  out  on  it ;  and  this 
accident  befalls  some  charming  persons  rather 
frequently.  Perhaps  it  had  befallen  Gwendolen 
this  morning.  The  hastening  of  her  toilet,  the 
way  in  which  Bugle  used  the  brush,  the  quality 
of  the  shilling  serial  mistakenly  written  for  her 
amusement,  the  probabilities  of  the  coming  day, 
and,  in  short,  social  institutions  generally,  were  all 
objectionable  to  her.  It  was  not  that  she  was  out 
of  temper,  but  that  the  world  was  not  equal  to  the 
demands  of  her  fine  organism. 

However  it  might  be,  Eex  saw  an  awful  majesty 
about  her  as  she  entered  and  put  out  her  hand  to 
him,  without  the  least  approach  to  a  smile  in  eyes 
or  mouth.  The  fun  which  had  moved  her  in  the 
evening  had  quite  evaporated  from  the  image  of 
his  accident,  and  the  whole  affair  seemed  stupid 
to  her.  But  she  said  with  perfect  propriety,  "I 
hope  you  are  not  much  hurt,  Eex ;  I  deserve  that 
you  should  reproach  me  for  your  accident." 

"  Not  at  all,"  said  Eex,  feeling  the  soul  within 
him  spreading  itself  like  an  attack  of  illness. 
"There  is  hardly  anything  the  matter  with  me. 
I  am  so  glad  you  had  the  pleasure:  I  would 
willingly  pay  for  it  by  a  tumble,  only  I  was  sorry 
to  break  the  horse's  knees." 

Gwendolen  walked  to  the  hearth   and   stood 


looking  at  the  fire  in  the  most  inconvenient  way 
for  conversation,  so  that  he  could  only  get  a  side 
view  of  her  face. 

"  My  father  wants  me  to  go  to  Southampton  for 
the  rest  of  the  vacation/'  said  Kex,  his  barytone 
trembling  a  little. 

"  Southampton  1  That's  a  stupid  place  to  go  to, 
isn't  it  ? "  said  Gwendolen,  chilly. 

"  It  would  be  to  me,  because  you  would  not  be 


"Should  you  mind  about  my  going  away, 

"Of  course.  Every  one  is  of  consequence  in 
this  dreary  country,"  said  Gwendolen,  curtly. 
The  perception  that  poor  Eex  wanted  to  be  tender 
made  her  curl  up  and  harden  like  a  sea-anemone 
at  the  touch  of  a  finger. 

"Are  you  angry  with  me,  Gwendolen?  Why 
do  you  treat  me  in  this  way  all  at  once  ? "  said 
Kex,  flushing,  and  with  more  spirit  in  his  voice, 
as  if  he  too  were  capable  of  being  angry. 

Gwendolen  looked  round  at  him  and  smiled. 
"  Treat  you  ?  Nonsense !  I  am  only  rather  cross. 
"Why  did  you  come  so  very  early?  You  must 
expect  to  find  tempers  in  dishabille." 

"  Be  as  cross  with  me  as  you  like — only  don't 


treat  me  with  indifference,"  said  Rex,  imploringly. 
"  All  the  happiness  of  my  life  depends  on  your 
loving  me — if  only  a  little — better  than  any  one 

He  tried  to  take  her  hand,  but  she  hastily 
eluded  his  grasp  and  moved  to  the  other  end  of 
the  hearth,  facing  him.  a 

"  Pray  don't  make  love  to  me !  I  hate  it."  She 
looked  at  him  fiercely. 

Kex  turned  pale  and  was  silent,  but  could  not 
take  his  eyes  off  her,  and  the  impetus  was  not  yet 
exhausted  that  made  hers  dart  death  at  him. 
Gwendolen  herself  could  not  have  foreseen  that 
she  should  feel  in  this  way.  It  was  all  a  sudden, 
new  experience  to  her.  The  day  before  she  had 
been  quite  aware  that  her  cousin  was  in  love  with 
her  —  she  did  not  mind  how  much,  so  that  he 
said  nothing  about  it ;  and  if  any  one  had  asked 
her  why  she  objected  to  love-making  speeches, 
she  would  have  said  laughingly,  "  Oh,  I  am  tired 
of  them  all  in  the  books."  But  now  the  life  of 
passion  had  begun  negatively  in  her.  She  felt 
passionately  averse  to  this  volunteered  love. 

To  Eex  at  twenty  the  joy  of  life  seemed  at  an 
end  more  absolutely  than  it  can  do  to  a  man  at 
forty.  But  before  they  had  ceased  to  look  at  each 
other,  he  did  speak  again. 


"  Is  that  the  last  word  you  have  to  say  to  me 
Gwendolen  ?     Will  it  always  be  so  ? " 

She  could  not  help  seeing  his  wretchedness  and 
feeling  a  little  regret  for  the  old  Eex  who  had  not 
offended  her.  Decisively,  but  yet  with  some  re- 
turn of  kindliness  she  said — 

"About  making  love?  Yes.  But  I  don't  dis- 
like you  for  anything  else." 

There  was  just  a  perceptible  pause  before  he 
said  a  low  "good-bye,"  and  passed  out  of  the 
room.  Almost  immediately  after,  she  heard  the 
heavy  hall-door  bang  behind  him. 

Mrs  Davilow  too  had  heard  Rex's  hasty  depar- 
ture, and  presently  came  into  the  drawing-room, 
where  she  found  Gwendolen  seated  on  the  low 
couch,  her  face  buried,  and  her  hair  falling  over 
her  figure  like  a  garment.  She  was  sobbing  bit- 
terly. "  My  child,  my  child,  what  is  it  ? "  cried 
the  mother,  who  had  never  before  seen  her  darling 
struck  down  in  this  way,  and  felt  something  of 
the  alarmed  anguish  that  women  feel  at  the  sight 
of  overpowering  sorrow  in  a  strong  man  ;  for  this 
child  had  been  her  ruler.  Sitting  down  by  her 
with  circling  arms,  she  pressed  her  cheek  against 
Gwendolen's  head,  and  then  tried  to  draw  it  up- 
ward. Gwendolen  gave  way,  and  letting  her  head 
rest  against  her  mother,  cried  out  sobbingly,  "  Oh 


mamma,  what  can  become  of  my  life?  there  is 
nothing  worth  living  for  ! " 

"Why,  dear  ? "  said  Mrs  Davilow.  Usually  she 
herself  had  been  rebuked  by  her  daughter  for  in- 
voluntary signs  of  despair. 

"  I  shall  never  love  anybody.  I  can't  love 
people.     I  hate  them." 

"  The  time  will  come,  dear,  the  time  will  come." 

Gwendolen  was  more  and  more  convulsed  with 
sobbing  •,  but  putting  her  arms  round  her  mother's 
neck  with  an  almost  painful  clinging,  she  said 
brokenly,  "  I  can't  bear  any  one  to  be  very  near 
me  but  you." 

Then  the  mother  began  to  sob,  for  this  spoiled 
child  had  never  shown  such  dependence  on  her 
before  :  and  so  they  clung  to  each  other. 

VOL.  I. 



What  name  doth  Joy  most  borrow 
When  life  is  fan-? 

"  To-morrow." 

What  name  doth  best  fit  Sorrow 
In  young  despair  ? 

"  To-morrow." 

There  was  a  much  more  lasting  trouble  at  the 
Eectory.  Eexi  arrived  there  only  to  throw  him- 
self on  his  bed  in  a  state  of  apparent  apathy, 
unbroken  till  the  next  day,  when  it  began  to  be 
interrupted  by  more  positive  signs  of  illness. 
Nothing  could  be  said  about  his  going  to  South- 
ampton :  instead  of  that,  the  chief  thought  of  his 
mother  and  Anna  was  how  to  tend  this  patient 
who  did  not  want  to  be  well,  and  from  being  the 
brightest,  most  grateful  spirit  in  the  household, 
was  metamorphosed  into  an  irresponsive  dull- 
eyed  creature  who  met  all  affectionate  attempts 
with  a  murmur  of  "  Let  me  alone."  His  father 
looked  beyond  the  crisis,  and  believed  it  to  be  the 
shortest  way  out  of  an  unlucky  affair ;  but  he  was 


sorry  for  the  inevitable  suffering,  and  went  now 
and  then  -to  sit  by  him  in  silence  for  a  few 
minutes,  parting  with  a  gentle  pressure  of  his 
hand  on  Eex's  blank  brow,  and  a  "  God  bless  you, 
my  boy."  Warham  and  the  younger  children 
used  to  peep  round  the  edge  of  the  door  to  see 
this  incredible  thing  of  their  lively  brother  being 
laid  low ;  but  fingers  were  immediately  shaken  at 
them  to  drive  them  back.  The  guardian  who 
was  always  there  was  Anna,  and  her  little  hand 
was  allowed  to  rest  within  her  brother's,  though 
he  never  gave  it  a  welcoming  pressure.  Her 
soul  was  divided  between  anguish  for  Kex  and 
reproach  of  Gwendolen. 

"Perhaps  it  is  wicked  of  me,  but  I  think  I 
never  can  love  her  again,"  came  as  the  recurrent 
burthen  of  poor  little  Anna's  inward  monody. 
And  even  Mrs  Gascoigne  had  an  angry  feeling 
towards  her  niece  which  she  could  not  refrain 
from  expressing  (apologetically)  to  her  husband. 

"  I  know  of  course  it  is  better,  and  we  ought  to 
be  thankful  that  she  is  not  in  love  with  the  poor 
boy ;  but  really,  Henry,  I  think  she  is  hard  :  she 
has  the  heart  of  a  coquette.  I  cannot  help  think- 
ing that  she  must  have  made  him  believe  some- 
thing, or  the  disappointment  would  not  have  taken 
hold  of  him  in  that  way.    And  some  blame  at- 


taches  to  poor  Fanny  ;  she  is  quite  blind  about 
that  girl." 

Mr  Gascoigne  answered  imperatively.  "  The 
less  said  on  that  point  the  better,  Nancy.  I 
ought  to  have  been  more  awake  myself.  As  to 
the  boy,  be  thankful  if  nothing  worse  ever  happens 
to  him.  Let  the  thing  die  out  as  quickly  as  pos- 
sible ;  and  especially  with  regard  to  Gwendolen — 
let  it  be  as  if  it  had  never  been." 

The  Rector's  dominant  feeling  was  that  there 
had  been  a  great  escape.  Gwendolen  in  love  with 
Eex  in  return  would  have  made  a  much  harder 
problem,  the  solution  of  which  might  have  been 
taken  out  of  his  hands.  But  he  had  to  go  through 
some  further  difficulty. 

One  fine  morning  Rex  asked  for  his  bath,  and 
made  his  toilet  as  usual.  Anna,  full  of  excitement 
at  this  change,  could  do  nothing  but  listen  for 
his  coming  down,  and  at  last  hearing  his  step,  ran 
to  the  foot  of  the  stairs  to  meet  him.  For  the  first 
time  he  gave  her  a  faint  smile,  but  it  looked  so 
melancholy  on  his  pale  face  that  she  could  hardly 
help  crying. 

"  Nannie ! "  he  said,  gently,  taking  her  hand 
and  leading  her  slowly  along  with  him  to  the 
drawing-room.  His  mother  was  there,  and,when  she 
came  to  kiss  him,  he  said,  "  What  a  plague  I  am  ! " 


Then  he  sat  still  and  looked  out  of  the  bow- 
window  on  the  lawn  and  shrubs  covered  with 
hoar-frost,  across  which  the  sun  was  sending  faint 
occasional  gleams — something  like  that  sad  smile 
on  Rex's  face,  Anna  thought.  He  felt  as  if  he 
had  had  a  resurrection  into  a  new  world,  and  did 
not  know  what  to  do  with  himself  there,  the  old 
interests  being  left  behind.  Anna  sat  near  him, 
pretending  to  work,  but  really  watching  him  with 
yearning  looks.  Beyond  the  garden  hedge  there 
was  a  road  where  waggons  and  carts  sometimes 
went  on  field-work :  a  railed  opening  was  made  in 
the  hedge,  because  the  upland  with  its  bordering 
wood  and  clump  of  ash-trees  against  the  sky  was 
a  pretty  sight.  Presently  there  came  along  a 
waggon  laden  with  timber ;  the  horses  were  strain- 
ing their  grand  muscles,  and  the  driver  having 
cracked  his  whip,  ran  along  anxiously  to  guide  the 
leader's  head,  fearing  a  swerve.  Eex  seemed  to 
be  shaken  into  attention,  rose  and  looked  till  the 
last  quivering  trunk  of  the  timber  had  disappeared, 
and  then  walked  once  or  twice  along  the  room. 
Mrs  Gascoigne  was  no  longer  there,  and  when  he 
came  to  sit  down  again,  Anna,  seeing  a  return  of 
speech  in  her  brother's  eyes,  could  not  resist  the 
impulse  to  bring  a  little  stool  and  seat  herseK 
against  his  knee,  looking  up  at  him  with  an  ex- 


pression  which  seemed  to  say,  "  Do  speak  to  me." 
And  he  spoke. 

"  I'll  tell  you  what  I  am  thinking  of,  Nannie. 
I  will  go  to  Canada,  or  somewhere  of  that  sort." 
(Eex  had  not  studied  the  character  of  our  colonial 

"  Oh  Eex,  not  for  always  ! " 

"  Yes ;  to  get  my  bread  there.  I  should  like  to 
build  a  hut,  and  work  hard  at  clearing,  and  have 
everything  wild  about  me,  and  a  great  wide 

"  And  not  take  me  with  you  ? "  said  Anna,  the 
big  tears  coming  fast. 

"How  could  I?" 

"  I  should  like  it  better  than  anything ;  and 
settlers  go  with  their  families.  I  would  sooner  go 
there  than  stay  here  in  England.  I  could  make 
the  fires,  and  mend  the  clothes,  and  cook  the 
food ;  and  I  could  learn  how  to  make  the  bread 
before  we  went.  It  would  be  nicer  than  any- 
thing— like  playing  at  life  over  again,  as  we  used 
to  do  when  we  made  our  tent  with  the  drugget, 
and  had  our  little  plates  and  dishes." 

"  Father  and  mother  would  not  let  you  go." 

"  Yes,  I  think  they  would,  when  I  explained 
everything.  It  would  save  money ;  and  papa 
would  have  more  to  bring  up  the  boys  with." 


There  was  further  talk  of  the  same  practical 
kind  at  intervals,  and  it  ended  in  Eex's  being 
obliged  to  consent  that  Anna  should  go  with  him 
when  he  spoke  to  his  father  on  the  subject. 

Of  course  it  was  when  the  Eector  was  alone  in 
his  study.  Their  mother  would  become  recon- 
ciled to  whatever  he  decided  on;  but  mentioned 
to  her  first,  the  question  would  have  distressed 

"  WeU,  my  children!"  said  Mr  Gascoigne,  cheer- 
fully, as  they  entered.  It  was  a  comfort  to  see 
Rex  about  again. 

"  May  we  sit  down  with  you  a  little,  papa  ? " 
said  Anna.     "  Eex  has  something  to  say." 

"  With  all  my  heart." 

It  was  a  noticeable  group  that  these  three  crea- 
tures made,  each  of  them  with  a  face  of  the  same 
structural  type — the  straight  brow,  the  nose  sud- 
denly straightened  from  an  intention  of  being  aqui- 
line, the  short  upper  lip,  the  short  but  strong  and 
well-hung  chin :  there  was  even  the  same  tone  of 
complexion  and  set  of  the  eye.  The  grey-haired 
father  was  at  once  massive  and  keen  -  looking ; 
there  was  a  perpendicular  line  in  his  brow  which 
when  he  spoke  with  any  force  of  interest  deep- 
ened; and  the  habit  of  ruling  gave  him  an  air 
of  reserved   authoritativeness.     Rex  would  have 


seemed  a  vision  of  the  father's  youth,  if  it  had 
been  possible  to  imagine  Mr  Gascoigne  without 
distinct  plans  and  without  command,  smitten 
with  a  heart  sorrow,  and  having  no  more  notion 
of  concealment  than  a  sick  animal;  and  Anna 
was  a  tiny  copy  of  Kex,  with  hair  drawn  back 
and  knotted,  her  face  following  his  in  its  changes 
of  expression,  as  if  they  had  one  soul  between 

"  You  know  all  about  what  has  upset  me, 
father,"  Kex  began,  and  Mr  Gascoigne  nodded. 

"  I  am  quite  done  up  for  life  in  this  part  of  the 
world.  I  am  sure  it  will  be  no  use  my  going 
back  to  Oxford.  I  couldn't  do  any  reading.  I 
should  fail,  and  cause  you  expense  for  nothing. 
I  want  to  have  your  consent  to  take  another 
course,  sir." 

Mr  Gascoigne  nodded  more  slowly,  the  perpen- 
dicular line  on  his  brow  deepened,  and  Anna's 
trembling  increased. 

"  If  you  would  allow  me  a  small  outfit,  I  should 
like  to  go  to  the  colonies  and  work  on  the  land 
there."  Rex  thought  the  vagueness  of  the  phrase 
prudential ;  "  the  colonies  "  necessarily  embrac- 
ing more  advantages,  and  being  less  capable  of 
being  rebutted  on  a  single  ground  than  any  par- 
ticular settlement. 


"  Oh,  and  with  me,  papa,"  said  Anna,  not  bear- 
ing to  be  left  out  from  the  proposal  even  tempo- 
rarily. "  Kex  would  want  some  one  to  take  care 
of  him,  you  know — some  one  to  keep  house.  And 
we  shall  never,  either  of  us,  be  married.  And  I 
should  cost  nothing,  and  I  should  be  so  happy. 
I  know  it  would  be  hard  to  leave  you  and 
mamma;  but  there  are  all  the  others  to  bring 
up,  and  we  two  should  be  no  trouble  to  you  any 

Anna  had  risen  from  her  seat,  and  used  the 
feminine  argument  of  going  closer  to  her  papa 
as  she  spoke.  He  did  not  smile,  but  he  drew  her 
on  his  knee  and  held  her  there,  as  if  to  put 
her  gently  out  of  the  question  while  he  spoke 
to  Kex. 

"  You  will  admit  that  my  experience  gives  me 
some  power  of  judging  for  you,  and  that  I  can 
probably  guide  you  in  practical  matters  better 
than  you  can  guide  yourself." 

Eex  was  obliged  to  say,  "  Yes,  sir." 

"  And  perhaps  you  wiU  admit — though  I  don't 
wish  to  press  that  point — that  you  are  bound  in 
duty  to  consider  my  judgment  and  wishes?" 

"  I  have  never  yet  placed  myself  in  opposition 
to  you,  sir."  Kex  in  his  secret  soul  could  not 
feel  that  he  was  bound  not  to  go  to  the  colonies, 


but  to  go  to  Oxford  again — which  was  the  point 
in  question. 

"  But  you  will  do  so  if  you  persist  in  setting 
your  mind  towards  a  rash  and  foolish  procedure, 
and  deafening  yourself  to  considerations  which 
my  experience  of  life  assures  me  of.  You  think, 
I  suppose,  that  you  have  had  a  shock  which  has 
changed  all  your  inclinations,  stupefied  your 
brains,  unfitted  you  for  anything  but  manual 
labour,  and  given  you  a  dislike  to  society?  Is 
that  what  you  believe  ? " 

"  Something  like  that.  I  shall  never  be  up  to 
the  sort  of  work  1  must  do  to  live  in  this  part  of 
the  world.  I  have  not  the  spirit  for  it.  I  shall 
never  be  the  same  again.  And  without  any  dis- 
respect to  you,  father,  I  think  a  young  fellow 
should  be  allowed  to  choose  his  way  of  life,  if  he 
does  nobody  any  harm.  There  are  plenty  to  stay 
at  home,  and  those  who  like  might  be  allowed  to 
go  where  there  are  empty  places." 

"  But  suppose  I  am  convinced  on  good  evi- 
dence— as  I  am — that  this  state  of  mind  of  yours 
is  transient,  and  that  if  you  went  off  as  you  pro- 
pose, you  would  by-and-by  repent,  and  feel  that 
you  had  let  yourself  slip  back  from  the  point  you 
have  been  gaining  by  your  education  till  now? 
Have  you  not  strength  of  mind  enough  to  see  that 


you  had  better  act  on  my  assurance  for  a  time, 
and  test  it  ?  In  my  opinion,  so  far  from  agreeing 
with  you  that  you  should  be  free  to  turn  yourself 
into  a  colonist  and  work  in  your  shirt-sleeves  with 
spade  and  hatchet — in  my  opinion  you  have  no 
right  whatever  to  expatriate  yourself  until  you 
have  honestly  endeavoured  to  turn  to  account  the 
education  you  have  received  here.  I  say  nothing 
of  the  grief  to  your  mother  and  me." 

"  I'm  very  sorry ;  but  what  can  I  do  ?  I  can't 
study — ^that's  certain/'  said  Kex. 

"Not  just  now,  perhaps.  You  will  have  to 
miss  a  term.  I  have  made  arrangements  for  you 
—  how  you  are  to  spend  the  next  two  months. 
But  I  confess  I  am  disappointed  in  you,  Eex.  I 
thought  you  had  more  sense  than  to  take  up  such 
ideas — to  suppose  that  because  you  have  fallen 
into  a  very  common  trouble,  such  as  most  men 
have  to  go  through,  you  are  loosened  from  all 
bonds  of  duty — just  as  if  your  brain  had  softened 
and  you  were  no  longer  a  responsible  being." 

What  could  Eex  say  ?  Inwardly  he  was  in  a 
state  of  rebellion,  but  he  had  no  arguments  to 
meet  his  father's ;  and  while  he  was  feeling,  in 
spite  of  anything  that  might  be  said,  that  he 
should  like  to  go  off  to  "  the  colonies "  to-mor- 
row, it  lay  in  a  deep  fold  of  his  consciousness 


that  he  ought  to  feel — if  he  had  been  a  better 
fellow  he  would  have  felt — more  about  his  old 
ties.  This  is  the  sort  of  faith  we  live  by  in  our 

Eex  got  up  from  his  seat,  as  if  he  held  the  con- 
ference to  be  at  an  end.  "You  assent  to  my 
arrangement  then?"  said  Mr  Gascoigne,  with  that 
distinct  resolution  of  tone  which  seems  to  hold 
one  in  a  vice. 

There  was  a  little  pause  before  Rex  answered, 
"I'll  try  what  I  can  do,  sir.  I  can't  promise." 
His  thought  was,  that  trying  would  be  of  no  use. 

Her  father  kept  Anna,  holding  her  fast,  though 
she  wanted  to  follow  Eex.  "  Oh  papa,"  she  said, 
the  tears  coming  with  her  words  when  the  door 
had  closed  ;  "  it  is  very  hard  for  him.  Doesn't  he 
look  ill?" 

"Yes,  but  he  will  soon  be  better;  it  will  all 
blow  over.  And  now,  Anna,  be  as  quiet  as  a 
mouse  about  it  all.  Never  let  it  be  mentioned 
when  he  is  gone." 

"No,  papa.  But  I  would  not  be  like  Gwen- 
dolen for  anything — to  have  people  fall  in  love 
with  me  so.     It  is  very  dreadful." 

Anna  dared  not  say  that  she  was  disappointed 
at  not  being  allowed  to  go  to  the  colonies  with 
Eex;  but  that  was  her  secret  feeling,  and  she 


often  afterwards  went  inwardly  over  the  whole 
affair,  saying  to  herself,  "  I  should  have  done  with 
going  out,  and  gloves,  and  crinoline,  and  having 
to  talk  when  I  am  taken  to  dinner — and  all 

I  like  to  mark  the  time,  and  connect  the  course 
of  individual  lives  with  the  historic  stream,  for  all 
classes  of  thinkers.  This  was  the  period  when 
the  broadening  of  gauge  in  crinolines  seemed  to 
demand  an  agitation  for  the  general  enlargement 
of  churches,  ball-rooms,  and  vehicles.  But  Anna 
Gascoigne's  figure  would  only  allow  the  size  of 
skirt  manufactured  for  young  ladies  of  fourteen. 



I'll  tell  thee,  Bcrthold,  what  men's  hopes  are  like : 
A  silly  child,  that,  quivering  with  joy. 
Would  cast  its  little  mimic  fishing-line 
Baited  with  loadstone  for  a  bowl  of  toys 
In  the  salt  ocean. 

Eight  montlis  after  the  arrival  of  the  family  at 
Offendene,  that  is  to  say  in  the  end  of  the  follow- 
ing June,  a  rumour  was  spread  in  the  neighbour- 
hood which  to  many  persons  was  matter  of  excit- 
ing interest.  It  had  no  reference  to  the  results  of 
the  American  war,  but  it  was  one  which  touched 
all  classes  within  a  certain  circuit  round  Wan- 
cester:  the  corn-factors,  the  brewers,  the  horse- 
dealers,  and  saddlers,  all  held  it  a  laudable 
thing,  and  one  which  was  to  be  rejoiced  in  on 
abstract  grounds,  as  showing  the  value  of  an 
aristocracy  in  a  free  country  like  England;  the 
blacksmith  in  the  hamlet  of  Diplow  felt  that  a 
good  time  had  come  round ;  the  wives  of  labouring 
men  hoped  their  nimble  boys  of  ten  or  twelve 


would  be  taken  into  employ  by  the  gentlemen  in 
livery ;  and  the  farmers  about  Diplow  admitted, 
with  a  tincture  of  bitterness  and  reserve,  that  a 
man  might  now  again  perhaps  have  an  easier 
market  or  exchange  for  a  rick  of  old  hay  or  a 
waggon-load  of  straw.  If  such  were  the  hopes 
of  low  persons  not  in  society,  it  may  be  easily 
inferred  that  their  betters  had  better  reasons  for 
satisfaction,  probably  connected  with  the  pleasures 
of  life  rather  than  its  business.  Marriage,  how- 
ever, must  be  considered  as  coming  under  both 
heads ;  and  just  as  when  a  visit  of  Majesty  is  an- 
nounced, the  dream  of  knighthood  or  a  baronetcy 
is  to  be  found  under  various  municipal  nightcaps, 
so  the  news  in  question  raised  a  floating  indeter- 
minate vision  of  marriage  in  several  well-bred 

The  news  was  that  Diplow  Hall,  Sir  Hugo 
Mallinger's  place,  which  had  for  a  couple  of 
years  turned  its  white  window-shutters  in  a  pain- 
ftdly  wall-eyed  manner  on  its  fine  elms  and 
beeches,  its  lilied  pool  and  grassy  acres  specked 
with  deer,  was  being  prepared  for  a  tenant,  and 
was  for  the  rest  of  the  summer  and  through  the 
hunting  season  to  be  inhabited  in  a  fitting  style 
both  as  to  house  and  stable.  But  not  by  Sir  Hugo 
himself :  by  his  nephew  Mr  Mallinger  Grandcourt, 


who  was  presumptive  heir  to  the  baronetcy,  his 
uncle's  marriage  having  produced  nothing  but 
girls.  Nor  was  this  the  only  contingency  with 
which  fortune  flattered  young  Grandcourt,  as  he 
was  pleasantly  called ;  for  while  the  chance  of  the 
baronetcy  came  through  his  father,  his  mother  had 
given  a  baronial  streak  to  his  blood,  so  that  if 
certain  intervening  persons  slightly  painted  in  the 
middle  distance  died,  he  would  become  a  baron 
and  peer  of  this  realm. 

It  is  the  uneven  allotment  of  nature  that  the 
male  bird  alone  has  the  tuft,  but  we  have  not  yet 
followed  the  advice  of  hasty  philosophers  who 
would  have  us  copy  nature  entirely  in  these  mat- 
ters ;  and  if  Mr  Mallinger  Grandcourt  became  a 
baronet  or  a  peer,  his  wife  would  share  the  title 
—  which  in  addition  to  his  actual  fortune  was 
certainly  a  reason  why  that  wife,  being  at  present 
unchosen,  should  be  thought  of  by  more  than  one 
person  with  sympathetic  interest  as  a  woman  sure 
to  be  well  provided  for. 

Some  readers  of  this  history  will  doubtless  re- 
gard it  as  incredible  that  people  should  construct 
matrimonial  prospects  on  the  mere  report  that 
a  bachelor  of  good  fortune  and  possibilities  was 
coming  within  reach,  and  will  reject  the  statement 
as  a  mere  outflow  of  gall :  they  will  aver  that 


neither  they  nor  their  first  cousins  have  minds  so 
unbridled;  and  that  in  fact  this  is  not  human 
nature,  which  would  know  that  such  speculations 
might  turn  out  to  be  fallacious,  and  would  there- 
fore not  entertain  them.  But,  let  it  be  observed, 
nothing  is  here  narrated  of  human  nature  gene- 
rally :  the  history  in  its  present  stage  concerns 
only  a  few  people  in  a  corner  of  Wessex — whose 
reputation,  however,  was  unimpeached,  and  who, 
I  am  in  the  proud  position  of  being  able  to  state, 
were  all  on  visiting  terms  with  persons  of  rank. 

There  were  the  Arrowpoints,  for  example,  in 
their  beautiful  place  at  Quetcham  :  no  one  could 
attribute  sordid  views  in  relation  to  their  daughter's 
marriage  to  parents  who  could  leave  her  at  least 
half  a  millon ;  but  having  affectionate  anxieties 
about  their  Catherine's  position  (she  having  res- 
olutely refused  Lord  Slogan,  an  unexceptionable 
Irish  peer,  whose  estate  wanted  nothing  but  drain- 
age and  population),  they  wondered,  perhaps  from 
something  more  than  a  charitable  impulse,  whether 
Mr  Grandcourt  was  good-looking,  of  sound  consti- 
tution, virtuous  or  at  least  reformed,  and  if  liberal- 
conservative,  not  too  liberal  -  conservative ;  and 
without  wishing  anybodj  to  die,  thought  his  suc- 
cession to  the  title  an  event  to  be  desired. 

If  the  Arrowpoints  had  such  ruminations,  it  is 
VOL.  I.  L 


the  less  surprising  that  they  were  stimulated  in 
Mr  Gascoigne,  who  for  being  a  clergyman  was  not 
the  less  subject  to  the  anxieties  of  a  parent  and 
guardian ;  and  we  have  seen  how  both  he  and  Mrs 
Gascoigne  might  by  this  time  have  come  to  feel 
that  he  was  overcharged  with  the  management  of 
young  creatures  who  were  hardly  to  be  held  in 
with  bit  or  bridle,  or  any  sort  of  metaphor  that 
would  stand  for  judicious  advice. 

Naturally,  people  did  not  tell  each  other  all 
they  felt  and  thought  about  young  Grandcourt's 
advent:  on  no  subject  is  this  openness  found  pru- 
dentially  practicable — not  even  on  the  generation 
of  acids,  or  the  destination  of  the  fixed  stars  ;  for 
either  your  contemporary  with  a  mind  turned 
towards  the  same  subjects  may  find  your  ideas  in- 
genious and  forestall  you  in  applying  them,  or  he 
may  have  other  views  on  acids  and  fixed  stars,  and 
think  ill  of  you  in  consequence.  Mr  Gascoigne 
did  not  ask  Mr  Arrowpoint  if  he  had  any  trust- 
worthy source  of  information  about  Grandcourt 
considered  as  a  husband  for  a  charming  girl ;  nor 
did  Mrs  Arrowpoint  observe  to  Mrs  Davilow  that 
if  the  possible  peer  sought  a  wife  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Diplow,  the  only  reasonable  expecta- 
tion was  that  he  would  offer  his  hand  to  Cather- 
ine, who,  however,  would  not  accept  him  unless  he 


were  in  all  respects  fitted  to  secure  her  happiness. 
Indeed,  even  to  his  wife  the  Kector  was  silent  as 
to  the  contemplation  of  any  matrimonial  result, 
from  the  probability  that  Mr  Grandcourt  would 
see  Gwendolen  at  the  next  Archery  Meeting; 
though  Mrs  Gascoigne's  mind  was  very  likely 
still  more  active  in  the  same  direction.  She  had 
said  interjectionally  to  her  sister,  "It  would  be 
a  mercy,  Fanny,  if  that  girl  were  well  married  !" 
to  which  Mrs  Davilow,  discerning  some  criticism 
of  her  darling  in  the  fervour  of  that  wish,  had 
not  chosen  to  make  any  audible  reply,  though  she 
had  said  inwardly,  "  You  will  not  get  her  to  marry 
for  your  pleasure  ; "  the  mild  mother  becoming 
rather  saucy  when  she  identified  herself  with  her 

To  her  husband  Mrs  Gascoigne  said, "  I  hear 
Mr  Grandcourt  has  two  places  of  his  own,  but 
he  comes  to  Diplow  for  the  hunting.  It  is  to  be 
hoped  he  will  set  a  good  example  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood. Have  you  heard  what  sort  of  young 
man  he  is,  Henry  V 

Mr  Gascoigne  had  not  heard ;  at  least,  if  his 
male  acquaintances  had  gossiped  in  his  hearing, 
he  was  not  disposed  to  repeat  their  gossip,  or  give 
it  any  emphasis  in  his  own  mind.  He  held  it 
futile,  even  if  it  had  been  becoming,  to  show  any 


curiosity  as  to  the  past  of  a  young  man  whose 
birth,  wealth,  and  consequent  leisure  made  many 
habits  venial  which  under  other  circumstances 
would  have  been  inexcusable.  Whatever  Grand- 
court  had  done,  he  had  not  ruined  himself;  and 
it  is  well  known  that  in  gambling,  for  example, 
whether  of  the  business  or  holiday  sort,  a  man 
who  has  the  strength  of  mind  to  leave  off  when 
he  has  only  ruined  others,  is  a  reformed  character. 
This  is  an  illustration  merely :  Mr  Gascoigne  had 
not  heard  that  Grandcourt  had  been  a  gambler ; 
and  we  can  hardly  pronounce  him  singular  in 
feeling  that  a  landed  proprietor  with  a  mixture  of 
noble  blood  in  his  veins  was  not  to  be  an  object 
of  suspicious  inquiry  like  a  reformed  character 
who  offers  himself  as  your  butler  or  footman. 
Eeformation,  where  a  man  can  afford  to  do  with- 
out it,  can  hardly  be  other  than  genuine.  More- 
over, it  was  not  certain  on  any  showing  hitherto 
that  Mr  Grandcourt  had  needed  reformation  more 
than  other  young  men  in  the  ripe  youth  of  five- 
and-thirty ;  and,  at  any  rate,  the  significance  of 
what  he  had  been  must  be  determined  by  what 
he  actually  was. 

Mrs  Davilow,  too,  although  she  would  not  re- 
spond to  her  sister's  pregnant  remark,  could  not 
be  inwardly  indifferent  to  an  event  that  might 


promise  a  brillant  lot  for  Gwendolen.  A  little 
speculation  on  'what  may  be'  comes  naturally, 
without  encouragement — comes  inevitably  in  the 
form  of  images,  when  unknown  persons  are  men- 
tioned ;  and  Mr  Grandcourt's  name  raised  in  Mrs 
Davilow's  mind  first  of  all  the  picture  of  a  hand- 
some, accomplished,  excellent  young  man  whom 
she  would  be  satisfied  with  as  a  husband  for  her 
daughter;  t)ut  then  came  the  further  specula- 
tion—  would  Gwendolen  be  satisfied  with  him? 
There  was  no  knowing  what  would  meet  that 
girl's  taste  or  touch  her  affections — it  might  be 
something  else  than  excellence;  and  thus  the 
image  of  the  perfect  suitor  gave  way  before  a 
fluctuating  combination  of  qualities  that  might  be 
imagined  to  win  Gwendolen's  heart.  In  the  dif- 
ficulty of  arriving  at  the  particular  combination 
which  would  insure  that  result,  the  mother  even 
said  to  herself,  "  It  would  not  signify  about  her 
being  in  love,  if  she  would  only  accept  the  right 
person."  For  whatever  marriage  had  been  for 
herself,  how  could  she  the  less  desire  it  for  her 
daughter?  The  difference  her  own  misfortunes 
made  was,  that  she  never  dared  to  dwell  much 
to  Gwendolen  on  the  desirableness  of  marriage, 
dreading  an  answer  something  like  that  of  the 
future  Madame  Koland,  when  her  gentle  mother 


urging  the  acceptance  of  a  suitor,  said,  "  Tu  seras 
heureuse,  ma  ch^re."     "  Oui,  maman,  comme  toi." 

In  relation  to  the  problematic  Mr  Grandcourt 
least  of  all  would  Mrs  Davilow  have  willingly  let 
fall  a  hint  of  the  aerial  castle-building  which  she 
had  the  good  taste  to  be  ashamed  of;  for  such  a 
hint  was  likely  enough  to  give  an  adverse  poise 
to  Gwendolen's  own  thought,  and  make  her 
detest  the  desirable  husband  beforehand.  Since 
that  scene  after  poor  Eex's  farewell  visit,  the 
mother  had  felt  a  new  sense  of  peril  in  touching 
the  mystery  of  her  child's  feeling,  and  in  rashly 
determining  what  was  her  welfare :  only  she 
could  think  of  welfare  in  no  other  shape  than 

The  discussion  of  the  dress  that  Gwendolen  was 
to  wear  at  the  Archery  Meeting  was  a  relevant 
topic,  however;  and  when  it  had  been  decided  that 
as  a  touch  of  colour  on  her  white  cashmere,  nothinsf, 
for  her  complexion,  was  comparable  to  pale  green 
— a  feather  which  she  was  trying  in  her  hat  before 
the  looking-glass  having  settled  the  question — 
Mrs  Davilow  felt  her  ears  tingle  when  Gwendolen, 
suddenly  throwing  herself  into  the  attitude  of 
drawing  her  bow,  said  with  a  look  of  comic  enjoy- 

"  How  I  pity  all  the  other  girls  at  the  Archery 


MeetiDg — all  thinking  of  Mr  Grandcourt !  And 
they  have  not  a  shadow  of  a  chance." 

Mrs  Davilow  had  not  presence  of  mind  to 
answer  immediately,  and  Gwendolen  turned 
quickly  round  towards  her  saying,  wickedly — 

"  Now  you  know  they  have  not,  mamma.  You 
and  my  uncle  and  aunt — you  all  intend  him  to 
fall  in  love  with  me." 

Mrs  Davilow,  piqued  into  a  little  stratagem, 
said,  "  Oh,  my  dear,  that  is  not  so  certain.  Miss 
Arrowpoint  has  charms  which  you  have  not," 

"  I  know.  But  they  demand  thought.  My 
arrow  will  pierce  him  before  he  has  time  for 
thought.  He  will  declare  himself  my  slave — I 
shall  send  him  round  the  world  to  bring  me 
back  the  wedding-ring  of  a  happy  woman — in 
the  mean  time  all  the  men  who  are  between  him 
and  the  title  will  die  of  different  diseases — he 
will  come  back  Lord  Grandcourt  —  but  without 
the  ring — and  fall  at  my  feet.  I  shall  laugh  at 
him — he  will  rise  in  resentment — I  shall  laugh 
more  —  he  will  call  for  his  steed  and  ride  to 
Quetcham,  where  he  will  find  Miss  Arrowpoint 
just  married  to  a  needy  musician,  Mrs  Arrowpoint 
tearing  her  cap  off,  and  Mr  Arrowpoint  standing 
by.  Exit  Lord  Grandcourt,  who  returns  to 
Diplow,  and,  like  M.  Jabot,  change  de  linge" 


Was  ever  any  young  witch  like  this  ?  You 
thought  of  hiding  things  from  her — sat  upon  your 
secret  and  looked  innocent,  and  all  the  while  she 
knew  by  the  corner  of  your  eye  that  it  was  exactly 
five  pounds  ten  you  were  sitting  on !  As  well 
turn  the  key  to  keep  out  the  damp  !  It  was 
probable  that  by  dint  of  divination  she  already 
knew  more  than  any  one  else  did  of  Mr  Grand- 
court.  That  idea  in  Mrs  Davilow's  mind  prompted 
the  sort  of  question  which  often  comes  without 
any  other  apparent  reason  than  the  faculty  of 
speech  and  the  not  knowing  what  to  do  with  it. 

"  Why,  what  kind  of  man  do  you  imagine  him 
to  be,  Gwendolen  ? " 

"  Let  me  see  ! "  said  the  witch,  putting  her  fore- 
finger to  her  lips  with  a  little  frown,  and  then 
stretching  out  the  finger  with  decision.  "  Short — 
just  above  my  shoulder — trying  to  make  himself 
tall  by  turning  up  his  mustache  and  keeping  his 
beard  long — a  glass  in  his  right  eye  to  give  him 
an  air  of  distinction — a  strong  opinion  about  his 
waistcoat,  but  uncertain  and  trimming  about  the 
weather,  on  which  he  will  try  to  draw  me  out. 
He  will  stare  at  me  all  the  while,  and  the  glass  in 
his  eye  will  cause  him  to  make  horrible  faces, 
especially  when  he  smiles  in  a  flattering  way.  I 
shall  cast  down  my  eyes  in  consequence,  and  he 


will  perceive  that  I  am  not  indifferent  to  his 
attentions.  I  shall  dream  that  night  that  I  am 
looking  at  the  extraordinary  face  of  a  magnified 
insect — and  the  next  morning  he  will  make  me 
an  offer  of  his  hand ;  the  sequel  as  before.'' 

"  That  is  a  portrait  of  some  one  you  have  seen 
already,  Gwen.  Mr  Grandcourt  may  be  a  delight- 
ful young  man  for  what  you  know." 

"  Oh  yes,"  said  Gwendolen,  with  a  high  note  of 
careless  admission,  taking  off  her  best  hat  and 
turning  it  round  on  her  hand  contemplatively. 
"  I  wonder  what  sort  of  behaviour  a  delightful 
young  man  would  have ! "  Then,  with  a  merry 
change  of  face,  "  I  know  he  would  have  hunters 
and  racers,  and  a  London  house  and  two  country- 
houses, — one  with  battlements  and  another  with 
a  veranda.  And  I  feel  sure  that  with  a  little  mur- 
dering he  might  get  a  title." 

The  irony  of  this  speech  was  of  the  doubtful 
sort  that  has  some  genuine  belief  mixed  up  with 
it.  Poor  Mrs  Davilow  felt  uncomfortable  under 
it,  her  own  meanings  being  usually  literal  and  in 
intention  innocent ;  and  she  said,  with  a  distressed 
brow — 

"Don't  talk  in  that  way,  child,  for  heaven's 
sake !  you  do  read  such  books  —  they  give  you 
such  ideas  of  everything.     I  declare  when  your 


aunt  and  I  were  your  age  we  knew  nothing  about 
wickedness.     I  think  it  was  better  so." 

"  Why  did  you  not  bring  me  up  in  that  way, 
mamma  ? "  said  Gwendolen.  But  immediately 
perceiving  in  the  crushed  look  and  rising  sob  that 
she  had  given  a  deep  wound,  she  tossed  down  her 
hat  and  knelt  at  her  mother's  feet,  crying — 

"  Mamma,  mamma !  I  was  only  speaking  in  fun. 
I  meant  nothing." 

"  How  could  I,  Gwendolen  ? "  said  poor  Mrs 
Davilow,  unable  to  hear  the  retractation,  and 
sobbing  violently  while  she  made  the  effort  to 
speak.  "  Your  will  was  always  too  strong  for  me 
— if  everything  else  had  been  different." 

This  disjointed  logic  was  intelligible  enough  to 
the  daughter.  "  Dear  mamma,  I  don't  find  fault 
with  you — I  love  you,"  said  Gwendolen,  really 
compunctious.  "  How  can  you  help  what  I  am  ? 
Besides,  I  am  very  charming.  Come,  now."  Here 
Gwendolen  with  her  handkerchief  gently  rubbed 
away  her  mother's  tears.  "  Keally — I  am  contented 
with  myself  I  like  myself  better  than  I  should 
have  liked  my  aunt  and  you.  How  dreadfully 
dull  you  must  have  been  ! " 

Such  tender  cajolery  served  to  quiet  the 
mother,  as  it  had  often  done  before  after  like 
collisions.     Not  that  the  collisions  had  often  been 


repeated  at  the  same  point ;  for  in  the  memory  of 
both  they  left  an  association  of  dread  with  the  par- 
ticular topics  which  had  occasioned  them :  Gwen- 
dolen dreaded  the  nnpleasant  sense  of  compunc- 
tion towards  her  mother,  which  was  the  nearest 
approach  to  self-condemnation  and  self-distrust 
that  she  had  known;  and  Mrs  Davilow's  timid 
maternal  conscience  dreaded  whatever  had  brought 
on  the  slightest  hint  of  reproach.  Hence,  after 
this  little  scene,  the  two  concurred  in  excluding 
Mr  Grandcourt  from  their  conversation. 

When  Mr  Gascoigne  once  or  twice  referred  to 
him,  Mrs  Davilow  feared  lest  Gwendolen  should 
betray  some  of  her  alarming  keen-sightedness 
about  what  was  probably  in  her  uncle's  mind ; 
but  the  fear  was  not  justified.  Gwendolen  knew 
certain  differences  in  the  characters  with  which 
she  was  concerned  as  birds  know  climate  and 
weather ;  and,  for  the  very  reason  that  she  was 
determined  to  evade  her  uncle's  control,  she  was 
determined  not  to  clash  with  him.  The  good 
understanding  between  them  was  much  fostered 
by  their  enjoyment  of  archery  together  :  Mr  Gas- 
coigne, as  one  of  the  best  bowmen  in  Wessex, 
was  gratified  to  find  the  elements  of  like  skill 
in  his  niece ;  and  Gwendolen  was  the  more 
careful  not  to  lose  the  shelter  of  his  fatherly  in- 


diligence,  because  since  the  trouble  with  Eex  both 
Mrs  Gascoigne  and  Anna  had  been  unable  to  hide 
what  she  felt  to  be  a  very  unreasonable  alienation 
from  her.  Towards  Anna  she  took  some  pains 
to  behave  with  a  regretful  affectionateness  ;  but 
neither  of  them  dared  to  mention  Eex's  name,  and 
Anna,  to  whom  the  thought  of  him  was  part  of 
the  air  she  breathed,  was  ill  at  ease  with  the 
lively  cousin  who  had  ruined  his  happiness.  She 
tried  dutifully  to  repress  any  sign  of  her  changed 
feeling ;  but  who  in  pain  can  imitate  the  glance 
and  hand-touch  of  pleasure  ? 

This  unfair  resentment  had  rather  a  hardening 
effect  on  Gwendolen,  and  threw  her  into  a  more 
defiant  temper.  Her  uncle  too  might  be  offended 
if  she  refused  the  next  person  who  fell  in  love 
with  her ;  and  one  day  when  that  idea  was  in  her 
mind  she  said — 

"  Mamma,  I  see  now  why  girls  are  glad  to  be 
married — to  escape  being  expected  to  please  every- 
body but  themselves." 

Happily,  Mr  Middleton  was  gone  without  hav- 
ing made  any  avowal ;  and  notwithstanding  the 
admiration  for  the  handsome  Miss  Harleth,  extend- 
ing perhaps  over  thirty  square  miles  in  a  part  of 
Wessex  well  studded  with  families  whose  mem- 
bers included^  several  disengaged  young  men,  each 


glad  to  seat  himself  by  the  lively  girl  with  whom 
it  was  so  easy  to  get  on  in  conversation, — not- 
withstanding these  grounds  for  arguing  that 
Gwendolen  was  likely  to  have  other  suitors  more 
expKcit  than  the  cautious  curate,  the  fact  was 
not  so. 

Care  has  been  taken  not  only  that  the  trees 
should  not  sweep  the  stars  down,  but  also  that 
every  man  who  admires  a  fair  girl  should  not  be 
enamoured  of  her,  and  even  that  every  man  who 
is  enamoured  should  not  necessarily  declare  him- 
seK.  There  are  various  refined  shapes  in  which 
the  price  of  corn,  known  to  be  a  potent  cause  in 
this  relation,  might,  if  inquired  into,  show  why  a 
young  lady,  perfect  in  person,  accomplishments, 
and  costume,  has  not  the  trouble  of  rejecting 
many  oiOfers ;  and  Nature's  order  is  certainly  be- 
nignant in  not  obliging  us  one  and  all  to  be 
desperately  in  love  with  the  most  admirable  mor- 
tal we  have  ever  seen.  Gwendolen,  we  know, 
was  far  from  holding  that  supremacy  in  the  minds 
of  all  observers.  Besides,  it  was  but  a  poor  eight 
months  since  she  had  come  to  Offendene,  and  some 
inclinations  become  manifest  slowly,  like  the  sun- 
ward creeping  of  plants. 

In  face  of  this  fact  that  not  one  of  the  eligible 
young  men   already  in  the  neighbourhood  had 


made  Gwendolen  an  ojffer,  why  should  Mr  Grand- 
court  be  thought  of  as  likely  to  do  what  they  had 
left  undone  ? 

Perhaps  because  he  was  thought  of  as  still 
more  eligible ;  since  a  great  deal  of  what  passes 
for  likelihood  in  the  world  is  simply  the  reflex  of 
a  wish.  Mr  and  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  for  example, 
having  no  anxiety  that  Miss  Harleth  should 
make  a  brilliant  marriage,  had  quite  a  different 
likelihood  in  their  minds. 



1st  Gent.  What  woman  should  be  ?    Sir,  consult  the  taste 
Of  marriageable  men.    This  planet's  store 
In  iron,  cotton,  wool,  or  chemicals- 
All  matter  rendered  to  our  plastic  skill. 
Is  wrought  in  shapes  responsive  to  demand : 
The  market's  pulse  makes  index  high  or  low. 
By  rule  sublime.    Our  daughters  must  be  wives. 
And  to  be  wives  must  be  what  men  will  choose  : 
Men's  taste  is  woman's  test.    You  mark  the  phrase  ? 
'Tis  good,  I  think? — the  sense  well  winged  and  poised 
With  t's  and  s's. 

2d  Gent.  Nay,  but  turn  it  round : 

Give  us  the  test  of  taste.    A  fine  menu- 
Is  it  to-day  what  Roman  epicures 
Insisted  that  a  gentleman  must  eat 
To  earn  the  dignity  of  dining  well  ? 

Bkackenshaw  Park,  where  tlie  Archery  Meeting 
was  held,  looked  out  from  its  gentle  heights  far 
over  the  neighbouring  valley  to  the  outlying 
eastern  downs  and  the  broad  slow  rise  of  culti- 
vated country  hanging  like  a  vast  curtain  towards 
the  west.  The  castle,  which  stood  on  the  highest 
platform  of  the  clustered  hills,  was  built  of  rough- 
hewn  limestone,  full  of  lights  and  shadows  made 
by  the  dark  dust  of  lichens  and  the  washings  of 


the  rain.  Masses  of  beech  and  fir  sheltered  it  on 
the  north,  and  spread  down  here  and  there  along 
the  green  slopes  like  flocks  seeking  the  water 
which  gleamed  below.  The  archery-ground  was 
a  carefully-kept  enclosure  on  a  bit  of  table-land 
at  the  farthest  end  of  the  park,  protected  towards 
the  south-west  by  tall  elms  and  a  thick  screen  of 
hollies,  which  kept  the  gravel  walk  and  the  bit  of 
newly-mown  turf  where  the  targets  were  placed 
in  agreeable  afternoon  shade.  The  Archery  Hall 
with  an  arcade  in  front  showed  like  a  white  tem- 
ple against  the  greenery  on  the  northern  side. 

What  could  make  a  better  background  for  the 
flower-groups  of  ladies,  moving  and  bowing  and 
turning  their  necks  as  it  would  become  the  lei- 
surely lilies  to  do  if  they  took  to  locomotion? 
The  sounds  too  were  very  pleasant  to  hear,  even 
when  the  military  band  from  Wancester  ceased  to 
play:  musical  laughs  in  all  the  registers  and  a 
harmony  of  happy  friendly  speeches,  now  rising 
towards  mild  excitement,  now  sinking  to  an  agree- 
able murmur. 

No  open-air  amusement  could  be  much  freer 
from  those  noisy,  crowding  conditions  which  spoil 
most  modern  pleasures ;  no  Archery  Meeting  could 
be  more  select,  the  number  of  friends  accompany- 
ing the  members  being  restricted  by  an  award  of 


tickets,  so  as  to  keep  the  maximum  within  the 
limits  of  convenience  for  the  dinner  and  ball  to 
be  held  in  the  castle.  Within  the  enclosure  no 
plebeian  spectators  were  admitted  except  Lord 
Brackenshaw's  tenants  and  their  families,  and  of 
these  it  was  chiefly  the  feminine  members  who 
used  the  privilege,  bringing  their  little  boys  and 
girls  or  younger  brothers  and  sisters.  The  males 
among  them  relieved  the  insipidity  of  the  enter- 
tainment by  imaginative  betting,  in  which  the 
stake  was  "anything  you  like,"  on  their  favourite 
archers ;  but  the  young  maidens,  having  a  different 
principle  of  discrimination,  were  considering  which 
of  those  sweetly-dressed  ladies  they  would  choose 
to  be,  if  the  choice  were  allowed  them.  Probably 
the  form  these  rural  souls  would  most  have  striven 
for  as  a  tabernacle  was  some  other  than  Gwen- 
dolen's— one  with  more  pink  in  her  cheeks  and 
hair  of  the  most  fashionable  yellow ;  but  among 
the  male  judges  in  the  ranks  immediately  sur- 
rounding her  there  was  unusual  unanimity  in 
pronouncing  her  the  finest  girl  present. 

No  wonder  she  enjoyed  her  existence  on  that 
July  day.  Pre-eminence  is  sweet  to  those  who 
love  it,  even  under  mediocre  circumstances :  per- 
haps it  is  not  quite  mythical  that  a  slave  has  been 
proud  to  be  bought  first ;  and  probably  a  baru- 

VOL.  L  M 


door  fowl  on  sale,  though  he  may  not  have  under- 
stood himself  to  be  called  the  best  of  a  bad  lot, 
may  have  a  self-informed  consciousness  of  his 
relative  importance,  and  strut  consoled.  But  for 
complete  enjoyment  the  outward  and  the  inward 
must  concur.  And  that  concurrence  was  happen- 
ing to  Gwendolen. 

Who  can  deny  that  bows  and  arrows  are  among 
the  prettiest  weapons  in  the  world  for  feminine 
forms  to  play  with  ?  They  prompt  attitudes  full 
of  grace  and  power,  where  that  fine  concentration 
of  energy  seen  in  all  marksmanship,  is  freed  from 
associations  of  bloodshed.  The  time-honoured 
British  resource  of  "  killing  something  "  is  no 
longer  carried  on  with  bow  and  quiver;  bands 
defending  their  passes  against  an  invading  nation 
fight  under  another  sort  of  shade  than  a  cloud  of 
arrows ;  and  poisoned  darts  are  harmless  survivals 
either  in  rhetoric  or  in  regions  comfortably  remote. 
Archery  has  no  ugly  smell  of  brimstone ;  breaks 
nobody's  shins,  breeds  no  athletic  monsters ;  its 
only  danger  is  that  of  failing,  which  for  generous 
blood  is  enough  to  mould  skilful  action.  And 
among  the  Brackenshaw  archers  the  prizes  were 
all  of  the  nobler  symbolic  kind :  not  property  to 
be  carried  off  in  a  parcel,  degrading  honour  into 
gain ;  but  the  gold  arrow  and  the  silver,  the  gold 


star  and  the  silver,  to  be  worn  for  a  time  in  sign 
of  achievement  and  then  transferred  to  the  next 
who  did  excellently.  These  signs  of  pre-eminence 
had  the  virtue  of  wreaths  without  their  incon- 
veniences, which  might  have  produced  a  melan- 
choly effect  in  the  heat  of  the  ball-room.  Alto- 
gether the  Brackenshaw  Archery  Club  was  an 
institution  framed  with  good  taste,  so  as  not  to 
have  by  necessity  any  ridiculous  incidents. 

And  to-day  all  incalculable  elements  were  in  its 
favour.  There  was  mild  warmth,  and  no  wind  to 
disturb  either  hair  or  drapery  or  the  course  of  the 
arrow ;  all  skilful  preparation  had  fair  play,  and 
when  there  was  a  general  march  to  extract  the 
arrows,  the  promenade  of  joyous  young  creatures 
in  light  speech  and  laughter,  the  graceful  move- 
ment in  common  towards  a  common  object,  was  a 
show  worth  looking  at.  Here  Gwendolen  seemed 
a  Calypso  among  her  nymphs.  It  was  in  her 
attitudes  and  movements  that  every  one  was 
obliged  to  admit  her  surpassing  charm. 

"That  girl  is  like  a  high-mettled  racer,"  said 
Lord  Brackenshaw  to  young  Clintock,  one  of  the 
invited  spectators. 

"  First  chop  !  tremendously  pretty  too,"  said  the 
elegant  Grecian,  who  had  been  paying  her  assidu- 
ous attention ;  "  I  never  saw  her  look  better." 


Perhaps  she  had  never  looked  so  well.  Her 
face  was  beaming  with  young  pleasure  in  which 
there  were  no  malign  rays  of  discontent ;  for  being 
satisfied  with  her  own  chances,  she  felt  kindly 
towards  everybody  and  was  satisfied  with  the  uni- 
verse. Not  to  have  the  highest  distinction  in  rank, 
not  to  be  marked  out  as  an  heiress,  like  Miss  Arrow- 
point,  gave  an  added  triumph  in  eclipsing  those 
advantages.  For  personal  recommendation  she 
would  not  have  cared  to  change  the  family  group 
accompanying  her  for  any  other:  her  mamma's 
appearance  would  have  suited  an  amiable  duchess ; 
her  uncle  and  aunt  Gascoigne  with  Anna  made 
equally  gratifying  figures  in  their  way ;  and  Gwen- 
dolen was  too  full  of  joyous  belief  in  herself  to 
feel  in  the  least  jealous  though  Miss  Arrowpoint 
was  one  of  the  best  archeresses. 

Even  the  reappearance  of  the  formidable  Herr 
Klesmer,  which  caused  some  surprise  in  the  rest 
of  the  company,  seemed  only  to  fall  in  with 
Gwendolen's  inclination  to  be  amused.  Short  of 
Apollo  himself,  what  great  musical  maestro  could 
make  a  good  figure  at  an  archery  meeting  ?  There 
was  a  very  satirical  light  in  Gwendolen's  eyes  as 
she  looked  towards  the  Arrowpoint  party  on  their 
first  entrance,  when  the  contrast  between  Klesmer 
and  the  average  group  of  English  county  people 


seemed  at  its  utmost  intensity  in  the  close  neigh- 
bourhood of  his  hosts — or  patrons,  as  Mrs  Ar- 
rowpoint  would  have  liked  to  hear  them  called, 
that  she  might  deny  the  possibility  of  any  longer 
patronising  genius,  its  royalty  being  universally 
acknowledged.  The  contrast  might  have  amused 
a  graver  personage  than  Gwendolen.  We  English 
are  a  miscellaneous  people,  and  any  chance  fifty 
of  us  will  present  many  varieties  of  animal  archi- 
tecture or  facial  ornament;  but  it  must  be  ad- 
mitted that  our  prevailing  expression  is  not  that 
of  a  lively,  impassioned  race,  preoccupied  with  the 
ideal  and  carrying  the  real  as  a  mere  make- weight. 
The  strong  point  of  the  English  gentleman  pure 
is  the  easy  style  of  his  figure  and  clothing ;  he 
objects  to  marked  ins  and  outs  in  his  costume, 
and  he  also  objects  to  looking  inspired. 

Fancy  an  assemblage  where  the  men  had  all 
that  ordinary  stamp  of  the  well-bred  Englishman, 
watching  the  entrance  of  Herr  Klesmer — his 
mane  of  hair  floating  backward  in  massive  incon- 
sistency with  the  chimney-pot  hat,  which  had  the 
look  of  having  been  put  on  for  a  joke  above  his 
pronounced  but  well-modelled  features  and  power- 
ful clear-shaven  mouth  and  chin  ;  his  tall  thin 
figure  clad  in  a  way  which,  not  being  strictly 
English,  was  all  the  worse  for  its  apparent  emphasis 


of  intention.  Draped  in  a  loose  garment  with  a 
Florentine  berretta  on  his  head,  he  would  have 
been  fit  to  stand  by  the  side  of  Leonardo  da  Vinci ; 
but  how  when  he  presented  himself  in  trousers 
which  were  not  what  English  feeling  demanded 
about  the  knees  ? — and  when  the  fire  that  showed 
itself  in  his  glances  and  the  movements  of  his 
head,  as  he  looked  round  him  with  curiosity,  was 
turned  into  comedy  by  a  hat  which  ruled  that 
mankind  should  have  well-cropped  hair  and  a 
staid  demeanour,  such,  for  example,  as  Mr  Arrow- 
point's,  whose  nullity  of  face  and  perfect  tailor- 
ing might  pass  everywhere  without  ridicule  ?  One 
sees  why  it  is  often  better  for  greatness  to  be 
dead,  and  to  have  got  rid  of  the  outward  man. 

Many  present  knew  Klesmer,  or  knew  of  him  ; 
but  they  had  only  seen  him  on  candle-light  occa- 
sions when  he  appeared  simply  as  a  musician,  and 
he  had  not  yet  that  supreme,  world-wide  celebrity 
which  makes  an  artist  great  to  the  most  ordinary 
people  by  their  knowledge  of  his  great  expensive- 
ness.  It  was  literally  a  new  light  for  them  to 
see  him  in — presented  unexpectedly  on  this  July 
afternoon  in  an  exclusive  society:  some  were 
inclined  to  laugh,  others  felt  a  little  disgust  at 
the  want  of  judgment  shown  by  the  Arrowpoints 
in  this  use  of  an  introductory  card. 


"  What  extreme  guys  those  artistic  fellows 
usually  are ! "  said  young  Clintock  to  Gwendolen. 
"  Do  look  at  the  figure  he  cuts,  bowing  with  his 
hand  on  his  heart  to  Lady  Brackenshaw — and  Mrs 
Arrowpoint's  feather  just  reaching  his  shoulder." 

"  You  are  one  of  the  profane,"  said  Gwendolen. 
"You  are  blind  to  the  majesty  of  genius.  Herr 
Klesmer  smites  me  with  awe ;  I  feel  crushed  in 
his  presence ;  my  courage  all  oozes  from  me." 

"  Ah,  you  understand  all  about  his  music." 

"No,  indeed,"  said  Gwendolen,  with  a  light 
laugh  ;  "  it  is  he  who  understands  all  about  mine 
and  thinks  it  pitiable."  Klesmer's  verdict  on  her 
singing  had  been  an  easier  joke  to  her  since  he 
had  been  struck  by  her  plastik. 

"  It  is  not  addressed  to  the  ears  of  the  future, 
I  suppose.     Fm  glad  of  that :  it  suits  mine." 

"  Oh,  you  are  very  kind.  But  how  remarkably 
well  Miss  Arrowpoint  looks  to-day !  She  would 
make  quite  a  fine  picture  in  that  gold-coloured 

"  Too  splendid,  don't  you  think  ?  " 

"Well,  perhaps  a  little  too  symbolical — too 
much  like  the  figure  of  Wealth  in  an  allegory." 

This  speech  of  Gwendolen's  had  rather  a 
malicious  sound,  but  it  was  not  really  more  than 
a  bubble  of  fun.     She  did  not  wish  Miss  Arrow- 

184  DANIEL   DEllONDA. 

point  or  any  one  else  to  be  out  of  the  way,  believing 
in  her  own  good  fortune  even  more  than  in  her 
skill.  The  belief  in  both  naturally  grew  stronger 
as  the  shooting  went  on,  for  she  promised  to 
achieve  one  of  the  best  scores — a  success  which 
astonished  every  one  in  a  new  member ;  and  to 
Gwendolen's  temperament  one  success  determined 
another.  She  trod  on  air,  and  all  things  pleasant 
seemed  possible.  The  hour  was  enough  for  her, 
and  she  was  not  obliged  to  think  what  she  should 
do  next  to  keep  her  life  at  the  due  pitch. 

"  How  does  the  scoring  stand,  I  wonder  ? " 
said  Lady  Brackenshaw,  a  gracious  personage  who, 
adorned  with  two  fair  little  girls  and  a  boy  of 
stout  make,  sat  as  lady  paramount.  Her  lord  had 
come  up  to  her  in  one  of  the  intervals  of  shooting. 
"  It  seems  to  me  that  Miss  Harleth  is  likely  to 
win  the  gold  arrow." 

"  Gad,  I  think  she  will,  if  she  carries  it  on  !  she 
is  running  Juliet  Fenn  hard.  It  is  wonderful  for 
one  in  her  first  year.  Catherine  is  not  up  to  her 
usual  mark/'  continued  his  lordship,  turning  to 
the  heiress's  mother  who  sat  near.  "  But  she  got 
the  gold  arrow  last  time.  And  there's  a  luck  even 
in  these  games  of  skill.  That's  better.  It  gives 
the  hinder  ones  a  chance." 

"  Catherine  will  be  very  glad  for  others  to  win/' 


said  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  "she  is  so  magnanimous. 
It  was  entirely  her  considerateness  that  made  us 
bring  Herr  Klesmer  instead  of  Canon  Stopley,  who 
had  expressed  a  wish  to  come.  For  her  own 
pleasure,  I  am  sure  she  would  rather  have  brought 
the  Canon  ;  but  she  is  always  thinking  of  others. 
I  told  her  it  was  not  quite  en  rhgle  to  bring  one  so 
far  out  of  our  own  set ;  but  she  said,  *  Genius  itself 
is  not  en  r^gle ;  it  comes  into  the  world  to  make 
new  rules."     And  one  must  admit  that." 

"  Ay,  to  be  sure,"  said  Lord  Brackenshaw,  in  a 
tone  of  careless  dismissal,  adding  quickly,  "  For 
my  part,  I  am  not  magnanimous ;  I  should  like  to 
win.  But,  confound  it !  I  never  have  the  chance 
now.  I'm  getting  old  and  idle.  The  young  ones 
beat  me.  As  old  Nestor  says — the  gods  don't  give 
us  everything  at  one  time :  I  was  a  young  fellow 
once,  and  now  I  am  getting  an  old  and  wise  one. 
Old,  at  any  rate ;  which  is  a  gift  that  comes  to 
everybody  if  they  live  long  enough,  so  it  raises  no 
jealousy."    The  Earl  smiled  comfortably  at  his  wife. 

"  Oh  my  lord,  people  who  have  been  neighbours 
twenty  years  must  not  talk  to  each  other  about 
age,"  said  Mrs  Arrowpoint.  "Years,  as  the 
Tuscans  say,  are  made  for  the  letting  of  houses. 
But  where  is  our  new  neighbour  ?  I  thought  Mr 
Grandcourt  was  to  be  here  to-day." 


"  Ah,  by  the  way,  so  he  was.  The  time's  getting 
on  too/'  said  his  lordship,  looking  at  his  watch. 
"  But  he  only  got  to  Diplow  the  other  day.  He 
came  to  us  on  Tuesday  and  said  he  had  been 
a  little  bothered.  He  may  have  been  pulled  in 
another  direction.  Why,  Gascoigne  ! " — the  Eec- 
tor  was  just  then  crossing  at  a  Kttle  distance  with 
Gwendolen  on  his  arm,  and  turned  in  compli- 
ance with  the  call — "  this  is  a  little  too  bad ;  you 
not  only  beat  us  yourself,  but  you  bring  up  your 
niece  to  beat  all  the  archeresses." 

"  It  is  rather  scandalous  in  her  to  get  the  better 
of  elder  members,"  said  Mr  Gascoigne,  with  much 
inward  satisfaction  curling  his  short  upper  lip. 
"  But  it  is  not  my  doing,  my  lord.  I  only  meant 
her  to  make  a  tolerable  figure,  without  surpassing 
any  one." 

"  It  is  not  my  fault  either,"  said  Gwendolen, 
with  pretty  archness.  "  If  I  am  to  aim,  I  can't 
help  hitting." 

"  Ay,  ay,  that  may  be  a  fatal  business  for  some 
people,"  said  Lord  Brackenshaw,  good-humour- 
edly ;  then  taking  out  his  watch  and  looking  at 
Mrs  Arrowpoint  again — "The  time's  getting  on, 
as  you  say.  But  Grandcourt  is  always  late.  I 
notice  in  town  he's  always  late,  and  he's  no  bow- 
man— ^understands  nothing  about  it.     But  I  told 


him  he  must  come ;  he  would  see  the  flower  of  the 
neighbourhood  here.  He  asked  about  you — had 
seen  Arrowpoint's  card.  I  think  you  had  not 
made  his  acquaiatance  in  town.  He  has  been  a 
good  deal  abroad.    People  don't  know  him  much.'' 

"  No  ;  we  are  strangers,"  said  Mrs  Arrowpoint. 
"  But  that  is  not  what  might  have  been  expected. 
For  his  uncle  Sir  Hugo  Mallinger  and  I  are  great 
friends  when  we  meet." 

"  I  don't  know ;  uncles  and  nephews  are  not  so 
likely  to  be  seen  together  as  uncles  and  nieces," 
said  his  lordship,  smiling  towards  the  Eector. 
"  But  just  come  with  me  one  instant,  Gascoigne, 
will  you?  I  want  to  speak  a  word  about  the 

Gwendolen  chose  to  go  too  and  be  deposited  in 
the  same  group  with  her  mamma  and  aunt  until 
she  had  to  shoot  again.  That  Mr  Grandcourt 
might  after  all  not  appear  on  the  archery-ground, 
had  begun  to  enter  into  Gwendolen's  thought  as  a 
possible  deduction  from  the  completeness  of  her 
pleasure.  Under  all  her  saucy  satire,  provoked 
chiefly  by  her  divination  that  her  friends  thought 
of  him  as  a  desirable  match  for  her,  she  felt 
something  very  far  from  indifference  as  to  the 
impression  she  would  make  on  him.  True,  he 
was  not  to  have  the  slightest  power  over  her  (for 


Gwendolen  had  not  considered  that  the  desire  to 
conquer  is  itself  a  sort  of  subjection)  ;  she  had 
made  up  her  mind  that  he  was  to  be  one  of  those 
complimentary  and  assiduously  admiring  men  of 
whom  even  her  narrow  experience  had  shown  her 
several  with  various-coloured  beards  and  various 
styles  of  bearing ;  and  the  sense  that  her  friends 
would  want  her  to  think  him  delightful,  gave  her  a 
resistant  inclination  to  presuppose  him  ridiculous. 
But  that  was  no  reason  why  she  could  spare  his 
presence :  and  even  a  passing  prevision  of  trouble 
in  case  she  despised  and  refused  him,  raised  not 
the  shadow  of  a  wish  that  he  should  save  her  that 
trouble  by  showing  no  disposition  to  make  her  an 
offer.  Mr  Grandcourt  taking  hardly  any  notice 
of  her,  and  becoming  shortly  engaged  to  Miss  Ar- 
rowpoint,  was  not  a  picture  which  flattered  her 

Hence  Gwendolen  had  been  all  ear  to  Lord 
Brackenshaw's  mode  of  accounting  for  Grand- 
court's  non-appearance ;  and  when  he  did  arrive, 
no  consciousness — not  even  Mrs  Arrowpoint's  or 
Mr  Gascoigne's — was  more  awake  to  the  fact 
than  hers,  although  she  steadily  avoided  looking 
towards  any  point  where  he  was  likely  to  be. 
There  should  be  no  slightest  shifting  of  angles 
to  betray  that  it  was  of  any  consequence  to  her 


whether  the  much-talked-of  Mr  Mallinger  Grand- 
court  presented  himself  or  not.  She  became  again 
absorbed  in  the  shooting,  and  so  resolutely  ab- 
stained from  looking  round  observantly  that,  even 
supposing  him  to  have  taken  a  conspicuous  place 
among  the  spectators,  it  might  be  clear  she  was 
not  aware  of  him.  And  all  the  while  the  cer- 
tainty that  he  was  there  made  a  distinct  thread 
in  her  consciousness.  Perhaps  her  shooting  was 
the  better  for  it :  at  any  rate,  it  gained  in  preci- 
sion, and  she  at  last  raised  a  delightful  storm  of 
clapping  and  applause  by  three  hits  running  in 
the  gold — a  feat  which  among  the  Brackenshaw 
archers  had  not  the  vulgar  reward  of  a  shilling 
poll-tax,  but  that  of  a  special  gold  star  to  be  worn 
on  the  breast.  That  moment  was  not  only  a 
happy  one  to  herself — it  was  just  what  her 
mamma  and  her  uncle  would  have  chosen  for  her. 
There  was  a  general  falling  into  ranks  to  give 
her  space  that  she  might  advance  conspicuously 
to  receive  the  gold  star  from  the  hands  of  Lady 
Brackenshaw;  and  the  perfect  movement  of  her 
fine  form  was  certainly  a  pleasant  thing  to  behold 
in  the  clear  afternoon  light  when  the  shadows 
were  long  and  still.  She  was  the  central  object  of 
that  pretty  picture,  and  every  one  present  must 
gaze  at  her.     That  was  enough :  she  herself  was 


determined  to  see  nobody  in  particular,  or  to  turn 
her  eyes  any  way  except  towards  Lady  Brack- 
enshaw,  but  her  thoughts  undeniably  turned  in 
other  ways.  It  entered  a  little  into  her  pleasure 
that  Herr  Klesmer  must  be  observing  her  at  a 
moment  when  music  was  out  of  the  question,  and 
his  superiority  very  far  in  the  background ;  for 
vanity  is  as  ill  at  ease  under  indifference  as  tender- 
ness is  under  a  love  which  it  cannot  return ;  and 
the  unconquered  Klesmer  threw  a  trace  of  his 
malign  power  even  across  her  pleasant  conscious- 
ness that  Mr  Grandcourt  was  seeing  her  to  the 
utmost  advantage,  and  was  probably  giving  her 
an  admiration  unmixed  with  criticism.  She  did 
not  expect  to  admire  him,  but  that  was  not  neces- 
sary to  her  peace  of  mind. 

Gwendolen  met  Lady  Brackenshaw's  gracious 
smile  without  blushing  (which  only  came  to  her 
when  she  was  taken  by  surprise),  but  with  a 
charming  gladness  of  expression,  and  then  bent 
with  easy  grace  to  have  the  star  fixed  near  her 
shoulder.  That  little  ceremony  had  been  over 
long  enough  for  her  to  have  exchanged  playful 
speeches  and  received  congratulations  as  she  moved 
among  the  groups  who  were  now  interesting  them- 
selves in  the  results  of  the  scoring ;  but  it  hap- 
pened that  she  stood  outside  examining  the  point 


of  an  arrow  with  rather  an  absent  air  when  Lord 
Brackenshaw  came  up  to  her  and  said — 

"  Miss  Harleth,  here  is  a  gentleman  who  is  not 
willing  to  wait  any  longer  for  an  introduction. 
He  has  been  getting  Mrs  Davilow  to  send  me 
with  him.  Will  you  allow  me  to  introduce  Mr 
Mallinger  Grandcourt  ? " 


HENRY   S.    KING   AND   CO.'S 

N  E  W     B  O  O  K  S. 


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A  sixpenny  bottle  of  magenta  or  violet  is  enough  to  dye  a  child's  dress  or  twenty 
yards  of  bonnet  ribbon  in  ten  minutes,  without  soiling  the  hands. 





























'S    DYES. 


Sir, — Your  "  Simple  Dyes  for  the  People  "  only  require  a  trial  to  be  duly  appre- 
ciated. I  have  used  them  for  some  length  of  time,  and  recommended  them  to 
many  friends,  who,  with  myself,  find  in  them  an  item  of  the  highest  economy. 
Having^been  successful  with  the  smaller  articles,  I  tried  the  larger,  and  now  dye 
all  at  home — viz..  Curtains,  Table-Covers,  Dresses,  &c. — with  the  most  satisfactory 
results.  W.  B.  A, 

March  .16,  1875. 

JUDSON'S  DYES.— 24  Colours,  6d.  each. 


completely  dyed  in  ten  minutes  without  soiling  the  hands. 

Sold  by  Chemists  and  Stationers. 

JUDSON'S  DYES.— Dyeing  at  Home.      Judson's  simple  Dyes 

are  most  useful  and  efifectual.  Ribbons,  Silks,  Feathers,  Scarfs,  Lace,  Braid, 
Veils,  Handkerchiefs,  Clouds,  Bernouses,  Shetland  Shawls,  or  any  small  article  of 
dress,  can  easily  be  dyed  in  a  few  minutes,  without  soiling  the  hands,  Violet,  Ma- 
genta, Crimson,  Mauve,  Purple,  Pink,  &c. 

JUDSON'S  DYES.— Photographic  Paper  Positives  or  Photo- 

prints  should  be  dipped  in  hot  water  and  then  submitted  to  a  hot  bath  of 
Judson's  Dyes.  Beautiful  effects  are  thus  produced  in  Green,  Pink,  Brown,  and 
many  other  colours. — Use  Judson's  Dyes  for  general  tinting !  Dye  your  Carte  de 
Visite ! 

JUDSON'S  DYES. — Ferns,  Grasses,  Flowers,  and  Seaweeds  may 

be  dyed  most  exquisite  colours — Green,  Crimson,  Purple,  &c.  By  simply  dip- 
ping them  in  a  water  solution  of  Judson's  Dyes  charming  Bouquets  may  be  com- 

JUDSON'S  DYES.— INK  !    INK  !    INK  !    A  Sixpenny  Bottle 

of  Judson's  Dyes,  Violet,  Red,  or  Magenta,  will  make  half  a  pint  of  brilliant 

Writing  Ink  in  one  minute  by  simply  adding  hot  water.     Elegant  Ink  for  Ladies. 

See  that  you  get  JUDSON'S  DYES. 


Sixpence  pee  Bottle. 




P  R  Y'S     O  O  O  O  A 

in  ^-Ib.  and  |-lb.  packets, 

THE  CAEACAS  COCOA  specially  recommended  by  the  Manu- 
facturers is  prepared  from  the  celebrated  Cocoa  of  Caracas,  combined  with 
other  choice  descriptions.  Purchasers  should  ask  specially  for  *'Fky's  Caracas 
Cocoa,"  to  distinguish  it  from  other  varieties.  "  A  most  delicious  and  valuable 

article, " — Standard. 
FRY'S  CHOCOLATE  CREAMS  are  delicious  sweetmeats. 


THE  Original  and  Genuine  Preparation  of  Indian  Corn,  of  which 
all  Corn  Flours  are  but  Imitations. 
For  Purity,  for  Nutritive  Quality,  for  Agreeableness  to  the  Pal- 
ate of  Infants,  and  as  an  Article  of  Diet,  the  Genuine 


has  no  equal. 

Sold  by  all  respectable  Grocers  and  Italian  Warehousemen. 








£10— In  return  for  a  Ten-Pound  Note,  free  &  safe,  per  post,  one  of 


Perfect  for  time,  beauty,  and  workmanship,  with  keyless  action,  air-tight,  damp- 
tight,  and  dust-tight, 
BENNETT'S  KEYLESS  HALF-CHRONOMETEES,  compensated  for  variations 
of  temperature,  adjusted  in  positions,  with  improved  keyless  action. 

In  Gold,  30  to  40  guineas,  |  In  Silver,         16  to  25  guineas. 


JOHN  BENNETT,  64  and  65  Cheapside,  London. 







CAUTION.— The  extraordinary  medical  reports  on  the  efficacy  of  Chlorodyne 
render  it  of  vital  importance  that  the  public  should  obtain  the  genuine,  which 
beai's  the  words,  "  Dr  J.  CoLLis  Browne's  Chlorodyne,"  on  the  Government 

Vice-Chancellor  Wood  stated  that  Dr  J.  Collis  Browne  was  undoubtedly  the  inventor  of 
Chlorodyne,  that  the  whole  story  of  th^  Defendant  Freeman  was  deliberately  untrue. 

From  Dr  B.  J.  Boulton  &  Co.,  Horncastle. 
"  We  have  naado  pretty  extensive  use  of  Chlorodyne  in  our  practice  lately,  and  look  upon  it  as 
an  excellent  direct  Sedative  and  Anti-spasmodic.  It  seems  to  allay  pain  aud  irritation  in  what- 
ever organ,  and  from  whatever  cause.  It  induces  a  feeling  of  comfort  and  quietude  not  obtain- 
able by  any  other  remedy,  and  it  seems  to  possess  this  great  advantage  over  all  other  Seda- 
tives, that  it  leaves  no  unpleasant  at'ter-efTects. " 

FromW.  C.  Wilkinson,  Esq.,  F.R.C.S.,  Spalding, 
"I  consider  it  invaluable  in  Phthisis  and  Spasmodic  Cough;  the  benefit  is  very  marked 

Sold  in  Bottles,  Is.  l^d.,  2s.  9d.,  and  4s.  6d.,  by  all  Chemists. 

SOLE  MANUFACTURER— J.  T.  DAVENPORT,  33  Great  Russell  Street,  W.C. 


So/d  by  all  Dealers  throughout  the  World. 

FIRE!    FIRE!!     FIRE!!! 


Weighs  but  8  lb.,  and  will  throw  water  50  feet. 


These  urns  are  elegant  in  form,  are  the  most  eflBcient  ones  yet  introduced,  and 
effect  a  saving  of  50  per  cent.  The  '  Times'  newspaper  remarks  :  "  M.  Loysel's 
hydrostatic  machine  for  making  tea  or  coffee  is  justly  considered  as  one  of  the 
most  complete  inventions  of  its  kind." 

iiold  hy  all  respectable  Ironmongers.     More  than  200,000  7W\o  in  use. 

Manufacturers  —  GRIFFITHS  &  BROWETT,   Birmingham  ;    12  Moorgate 

Street,  London ;  and  25  Boulevard  Magenta,  Paris. 



JlouoE  ^xiAo^meri/ 


Produced  from  pure 

unworn  Irish 

Linen  Cuttings. 

"A  peculiarly  substantial  and  elegant  description  of  stationery,  on  which  it  is  an  absolute 
luxury  to  write." — Daily  Telegraph.  "  Precisely  the  kind  of  surface  which  is  so  agreeable 

to  the  ready  or  unready  writer." — Morning  Post. 

'ATERMARK  (as  above)  and  "Marcus  Ward  &  Co."  in  every  octavo  sheet.    "Watermark 
in  the  Second  Quality,  "  Pure  Flax."     Sample  Packet  of  all  Varieties,  6d.,  post  free. 
"Wholesale  of  the  Manufacturers  : 

MARCUS  WARD  &  CO. ,  London,  and  Royal  Ulster  Works,  Belfast. 




A  single  trial  solicited  from  those  loho  have  not  yet  tried  these  splendid  preparations. 



'f-  The  cheapest  because  the  best,  and  indispensable  to  every  household,  and  au 
inestimable  boon  to  housewives.  Makes  delicious  Puddings  without  eggs, 
Pastry  without  butter,  and  beautiful  light  Bread  vrithout  yeast.  Sold  by 
Grocers,  Oilmen,  Chemists,  &c.,  in  Id.  Packets  ;  6d.,  Is.  6d.,  and  2s.  Tins. 

Prepared  by  GOODALL,  BACKHOUSE,  &  CO.,  LEEDS. 


This  cheap  and  excellent  Sauce  makes  the  plainest  viands  palatable,  and  the 
daintiest  dishes  more  delicious.    To  Chops  and  Steaks,  Fish,  &c. ,  it  is  incom- 
parable.    Sold  by  Grocers,  Oilmen,  Chemists,  &c. ,  in  Bottles,  6d.,  Is.,  and  28. 

Prepared  by  GOOD  ALL,  BACKHOUSE,  &  CO.,  LEEDS, 


The    best,  cheapest,  and  most  agreeable  tonic  yet  introduced.    The  best 
;   remedy  known  for  Indigestion,  Loss  of  Appetite,  General  Debility,  &c.     Re- 
stores delicate  invalids  to  health  and  vigour.     Sold  by  Chemists,  Grocers,  &c., 
at  Is.,  Is.  l^d.,  2s.,  and  2s.  3d.  each  Bottle. 

Prepared  by  GOODALL,  BACKHOUSE,  &  CO.,  LEEDS. 


DR  ARTHUR  HILL  HASSALL,  M.D.,the  inventor,  recommends  this  as  the  best  and 
most  nourishing  of  all  Infants'  and  Invalids'  Foods  which  have  hitherto  been  brought  before 
the  public.  It  contains  every  requisite  for  the  full  and  healthy  support  and  development  of  the 
body,  and  is,  to  a  considerable  extent,  self-digestive.  Recommended  by  the  '  Lancet,'  and 
Medical  Faculty,  <fec.  Sold  by  Druggists,  Grocers,  Oilmen,  &c.,  &c.,  in  Tins,  6d.,  Is.,  2s.,  .38. 
()d.,  68.,  15s.,  and  28s.  each.  A  Treatise  by  Arthur  Hill  Hassall,  M.D.,  London,  the  inventor, 
on  the  '  Alimentation  of  Infants,  Children,  and  Invalids,'  sent  Post  Free  on  application  to  the 

Manufacturers,  GOODALL,  BACKHOUSE,  &  CO.,  LEEDS. 




As  Supplied  to  Her  Majesty  at  all  the  Royal  Palaces, 

and  to  the  Aristocracy  and  Gentry  of  the  United  Kingdom.    The  delicious  product 

of  the  famed  Kent  Morellas.     Supersedes  Wine  in  many  households. 

A  most  valuable  Tonic, 

42s.  net  per  Dozen,  pre-paid.    Carriage  Free  in  England. 


"Thk  Sportsman's  Special  Quality." 

50s.  net  per  Dozen,  pre-paid.     Carriage  Free  in  England. 

This  quality,  which,  please  observe,  is  not  supplied  unless  distinctly  and  specially 

ordered y   contains  more  Brandy  and   less  Saccharine  than  the  above   "  Queen's 

Quality,"  and  has  been  specially  prepared  for  the  Hunting  Field,  &c.     Order 

through  any  Wine  Merchant,  or  direct  of 



"We  beg  to  draw  attention  to  our  large 
and  well-matured  Stock  of  this  Excellent  and  Moderate-priced 

The  price  at  which  we  offer  it  is  so  reasonable,  and  the  quality 
so  fine,  that  we  consider  it  THE  BEST  and  most  ECONOMICAL 
White  Wine  we  know  for  DINNER  and  HOUSEHOLD  USE. 

Quarter  Casks  of )    .  q„  « ,  ^^^  „„n«„ 
22  to  23  gallons,    |  at  8s.  6d.  per  gallon. 

r  Casks  included. 

In  Wickered    Jars  ]  \  Jars  charged  extra, 

of    4,    5,   and    6  V  at  8s.  9d.        do.  V     but  allowed   for 

gallons,  j  )      when  returned. 


Carriage  paid  to  any  Railway  Station  in  England  or  Scotland, 
on  receipt  of  remittance. 




Lord  Street.  76  Market  Street.  28  High  Street. 



None  are  genuine  w^ithout  the 
name  of  J.  &  J.  CASH. 





*      KNITTED 






with  the  Name  of  the  Firm, 

J",    &    J".    O^^SHI, 

woven  upon  it,  and 




•«•        S.A.VC 

143  NEW  BOND 

J.  &  P.  GOATS' 



In  the  MOST  DIGESTIBLE  and 







This  Cotton  being  greatly  improved  in  quality 
and  finish,  will  be  found  unsurpassed  for 
Machine  or  Hand  Sewing. 

On  Reels  100,  200,  or  500  Tarda. 


Unsurpassed  in  Quality. 

To  he  had  of  all  Wholesale  and  RetaU  Drapers  throughout  the  United  Kingdom. 


BOOK    11. 

BOOK    II. 



The  banning  of  an  acquaintance  whether  with  persons  or  things  is  to 
get  a  definite  outline  for  our  ignomnce. 

Mr  Grandcoukt's  wish  to  be  introduced  had 
no  suddenness  for  Gwendolen;  but  when  Lord 
Brackenshaw  moved  aside  a  little  for  the  pre- 
figured stranger  to  come  forward  and  she  felt 
herself  face  to  face  with  the  real  man,  there  was 
a  little  shock  which  flushed  her  cheeks  and  vex- 
atiously  deepened  with  her  consciousness  of  it. 
The  shock  came  from  the  reversal  of  her  expecta- 
tions :  Grandcourt  could  hardly  have  been  more 
unhke  all  her  imaginary  portraits  of  him.  He  was 
slightly  taller  than  herself,  and  their  eyes  seemed 


to  be  on  a  level ;  there  was  not  the  faintest  smile 
on  his  face  as  he  looked  at  her,  not  a  trace  of  self- 
consciousness  or  anxiety  in  his  bearing  ;  when  he 
raised  his  hat  he  showed  an  extensive  baldness 
surrounded  with  a  mere  fringe  of  reddish  blond 
hair,  but  he  also  showed  a  perfect  hand ;  the  line 
of  feature  from  brow  to  chin  undisguised  by  beard 
was  decidedly  handsome,  with  only  moderate  de- 
partures from  the  perpendicular,  and  the  slight 
whisker  too  was  perpendicular.  It  was  not  pos- 
sible for  a  human  aspect  to  be  freer  from  grimace 
or  solicitous  wrigglings ;  also  it  was  perhaps  not 
possible  for  a  breathing  man  wide  awake  to  look 
less  animated.  The  correct  Englishman,  drawing 
himself  up  from  his  bow  into  rigidity,  assenting 
severely,  and  seeming  to  be  in  a  state  of  internal 
drill,  suggests  a  suppressed  vivacity,  and  may  be 
suspected  of  letting  go  with  some  violence  when 
he  is  released  from  parade ;  but  Grandcourt's 
bearing  had  no  rigidity,  it  inclined  rather  to  the 
flaccid.  His  complexion  had  a  faded  fairness 
resembling  that  of  an  actress  when  bare  of  the 
artificial  white  and  red ;  his  long  narrow  grey  eyes 
expressed  nothing  but  indifference.  Attempts  at 
description  are  stupid ;  who  can  all  at  once 
describe  a  human  being  ?  even  when  he  is  pre- 
sented to  us  we  only  begin  that  knowledge  of  his 


appearance  which  must  be  completed  by  innumer- 
able impressions  under  differing  circumstances. 
We  recognise  the  alphabet;  we  are  not  sure  of 
the  language.  I  am  only  mentioning  the  points 
that  Gwendolen  saw  by  the  light  of  a  prepared 
contrast  in  the  first  minutes  of  her  meeting  with 
Grandcourt :  they  were  summed  iip  in  the  words, 
"He  is  not  ridiculous."  But  forthwith  Lord 
Brackenshaw  was  gone,  and  what  is  called  con- 
versation had  begun,  the  first  and  constant  ele- 
ment in  it  being  that  Grandcourt  looked  at 
Gwendolen  persistently  with  a  slightly  exploring 
gaze,  but  without  change  of  expression,  while 
she  only  occasionally  looked  at  him  with  a  flash 
of  observation  a  little  softened  by  coquetry.  Also, 
after  her  answers  there  was  a  longer  or  shorter 
pause  before  he  spoke  again. 

"I  used  to  think  archery  was  a  great  bore," 
Grandcourt  began.  He  spoke  with  a  fine  accent, 
but  with  a  certain  broken  drawl,  as  of  a  distin- 
guished personage  with  a  distinguished  cold  on 
his  chest. 

"  Are  you  converted  to-day  ? "  said  Gwendolen. 

(Pause,  during  which  she  imagined  various 
degrees  and  modes  of  opinion  about  herself  that 
might  be  entertained  by  Grandcourt.) 

"  Yes,  since  I  saw  you  shooting.     In  things  of 


this  sort  one  generally  sees  people  missing  and 

"  I  suppose  you  are  a  first-rate  shot  with  a  rifle." 

(Pause,  during  which  Gwendolen,  having  taken 
a  rapid  observation  of  Grandcourt,  made  a  brief 
graphic  description  of  him  to  an  indefinite  hearer.) 

"  I  have  left  off  shooting." 

"  Oh,  then,  you  are  a  formidable  person.  People 
who  have  done  things  once  and  left  them  off  make 
one  feel  very  contemptible,  as  if  one  were  using 
cast-off  fashions.  I  hope  you  have  not  left  off 
all  follies,  because  I  practise  a  great  many." 

(Pause,  during  which  Gwendolen  made  several 
interpretations  of  her  own  speech.) 

"  What  do  you  call  follies  ? " 

"Well,  in  general,  I  think  whatever  is  agreeable 
is  called  a  folly.  But  you  have  not  left  ofl"  hunt- 
ing, I  hear." 

(Pause,  wherein  Gwendolen  recalled  what  she 
had  heard  about  Grandcourt's  position,  and  decided 
that  he  was  the  most  aristocratic-looking  man  she 
had  ever  seen.) 

"  One  must  do  something." 

"  And  do  you  care  about  the  turf  ? — or  is  that 
among  the  things  you  have  left  off? " 

(Pause,  during  which  Gwendolen  thought  that 
a  man  of  extremely  calm,  cold  manners  might  be 


less  disagreeable  as  a  husband  than  other  men,  and 
not  likely  to  interfere  with  his  wife's  preferences.) 

"  I  run  a  horse  now  and  then ;  but  I  don't  go  in 
for  the  thing  as  some  men  do.  Are  you  fond  of 
horses  ? " 

"  Yes,  indeed :  I  never  like  my  life  so  well  as 
when  I  am  on  horseback,  having  a  great  gallop. 
I  think  of  nothing.  I  only  feel  myself  strong  and 

(Pause,  wherein  Gwendolen  wondered  whether 
Grandcourt  would  like  what  she  said,  but  assured 
herself  that  she  was  not  going  to  disguise  her 

"  Do  you  like  danger  ? " 

"I  don't  know.  When  I  am  on  horseback  I 
never  think  of  danger.  It  seems  to  me  that  if  I 
broke  my  bones  I  should  not  feel  it.  I  should  go 
at  anything  that  came  in  my  way." 

(Pause,  during  which  Gwendolen  had  run 
through  a  whole  hunting  season  with  two  chosen 
hunters  to  ride  at  will.) 

"  You  would  perhaps  like  tiger-hunting  or  pig- 
sticking. I  saw  some  of  that  for  a  season  or  two 
in  the  East.  Everything  here  is  poor  stuff  after 

"  You  are  fond  of  danger,  then  ? " 

(Pause,  wherein  Gwendolen  speculated  on  the 


probability  that  the  men  of  coldest  manners  were 
the  most  adventurous,  and  felt  the  strength  of  her 
own  insight,  supposing  the  question  had  to  be 

"  One  must  have  something  or  other.  But  one 
gets  used  to  it." 

"  I  begin  to  think  I  am  very  fortunate,  because 
everything  is  new  to  me :  it  is  only  that  I  can't 
get  enough  of  it.  I  am  not  used  to  anything 
except  being  dull,  which  I  should  like  to  leave 
off  as  you  have  left  off  shooting." 

(Pause,  during  which  it  occurred  to  Gwendolen 
that  a  man  of  cold  and  distinguished  manners 
might  possibly  be  a  dull  companion ;  but  on  the 
other  hand  she  thought  that  most  persons  were 
dull,  that  she  had  not  observed  husbands  to  be 
companions — and  that  after  all  she  was  not  going 
to  accept  Grandcourt.) 

"Why  are  you  dull?" 

"This  is  a  dreadful  neighbourhood.  There  is 
nothing  to  be  done  in  it.  That  is  why  I  practised 
my  archery." 

(Pause,  during  which  Gwendolen  reflected  that 
the  life  of  an  unmarried  woman  who  could  not  go 
about  and  had  no  command  of  anything  must 
necessarily  be  dull  through  all  the  degrees  of 
comparison  as  time  went  on.) 


"  You  have  made  yourself  queen  of  it.  I  ima- 
gine you  will  carry  the  first  prize." 

"  I  don't  know  that.  I  have  great  rivals.  Did 
you  not  observe  how  well  Miss  Arrowpoint 

(Pause,  wherein  Gwendolen  was  thinking  that 
men  had  been  known  to  choose  some  one  else 
than  the  woman  they  most  admired,  and  recalled 
several  experiences  of  that  kind  in  novels.) 

"  Miss  Arrowpoint  ?    No — that  is,  yes." 

"  Shall  we  go  now  and  hear  what  the  scoring 
says  ?  Every  one  is  going  to  the  other  end  now 
— shall  w^e  join  them  ?  I  think  my  uncle  is  look- 
ing towards  me.     He  perhaps  wants  me." 

Gwendolen  found  a  relief  for  herself  by  thus 
changing  the  situation:  not  that  the  tete-db-tete 
was  quite  disagreeable  to  her ;  but  while  it  lasted 
she  apparently  could  not  get  rid  of  the  unwonted 
flush  in  her  cheeks  and  the  sense  of  surprise 
which  made  her  feel  less  mistress  of  herself  than 
usual.  And  this  Mr  Grandcourt,  who  seemed 
)o  feel  his  own  importance  more  than  he  did 
hers — a  sort  of  unreasonableness  few  of  us  can 
tolerate — must  not  take  for  granted  that  he  was 
of  great  moment  to  her,  or  that  because  others 
speculated  on  him  as  a  desirable  match  she 
held  herself  altogether  at  his  beck.     How  Grand- 


court  had  filled  up  the  pauses  will  be  more  evi- 
dent hereafter. 

"You  have  just  missed  the  gold  arrow,  Gwen- 
dolen," said  Mr  Gascoigne.  "Miss  Juliet  Fenn 
scores  eight  above  you." 

"I  am  very  glad  to  hear  it.  I  should  have 
felt  that  I  was  making  myself  too  disagreeable — 
taking  the  best  of  everything,"  said  Gwendolen, 
quite  easily. 

It  was  impossible  to  be  jealous  of  Juliet  Fenn, 
a  girl  as  middling  as  mid-day  market  in  every- 
thing but  her  archery  and  her  plainness,  in  which 
last  she  was  noticeably  like  her  father :  underhung 
and  with  receding  brow  resembling  that  of  the 
more  intelligent  fishes.  (Surely,  considering  the 
importance  which  is  given  to  such  an  accident  in 
female  offspring,  marriageable  men,  or  what  the 
new  English  calls  "  intending  bridegrooms,"  should 
look  at  themselves  dispassionately  in  the  glass, 
since  their  natural  selection  of  a  mate  prettier 
than  themselves  is  not  certain  to  bar  the  effect  of 
their  own  ugliness.) 

There  was  now  a  lively  movement  in  the  ming- 
ling groups,  which  carried  the  talk  along  with  it. 
Every  one  spoke  to  every  one  else  by  turns,  and 
Gwendolen,  who  chose  to  see  what  was  going  on 
around  her  now,  observed  that  Grandcourt  was 


having  Klesmer  presented  to  him  by  some  one 
unknown  to  her — a  middle-aged  man  with  dark 
full  face  and  fat  hands,  who  seemed  to  be  on  the 
easiest  terms  with  both,  and  presently  led  the 
way  in  joining  the  Arrowpoints,  whose  acquaint- 
ance had  already  been  made  by  both  him  and 
Grandcourt.  Who  this  stranger  was  she  did  not 
care  much  to  know ;  but  she  wished  to  observe 
what  was  Grandcourt's  manner  towards  others 
than  herself.  Precisely  the  same ;  except  that 
he  did  not  look  much  at  Miss  Arrowpoint,  but 
rather  at  Klesmer,  who  was  speaking  with  ani- 
mation —  now  stretching  out  his  long  fingers 
horizontally,  now  pointing  downwards  with  his 
fore -finger,  now  folding  his  arms  and  tossing 
his  mane,  while  he  addressed  himself  first  to 
one  and  then  the  other,  including  Grandcourt, 
who  listened  with  an  impassive  face  and  narrow 
eyes,  his  left  fore-finger  in  his  waistcoat-pocket, 
and  his  right  slightly  touching  his  thin  whisker. 

**I  wonder  which  style  Miss  Arrowpoint  ad- 
mires most,"  was  a  thought  that  glanced  through 
Gwendolen's  mind  while  her  eyes  and  lips 
gathered  rather  a  mocking  expression.  But  she 
would  not  indulge  her  sense  of  amusement  by 
watching  as  if  she  were  curious,  and  she  gave  all 
her  animation  to  those  immediately  around  her, 


determined  not  to  care  whether  Mr  Grandcourt 
came  near  her  again  or  not. 

He  did  come,  however,  and  at  a  moment  when 
he  could  propose  to  conduct  Mrs  Davilow  to  her 
carriage.  "  Shall  we  meet  again  in  the  ball-room  ? " 
she  said,  as  he  raised  his  hat  at  parting.  The 
"yes"  in  reply  had  the  nsual  slight  drawl  and 
perfect  gravity. 

"You  were  wrong  for  once,  Gwendolen,"  said 
Mrs  Davilow  during  their  few  minutes'  drive  to 
the  castle. 

"  In  what,  mamma  ? " 

"  About  Mr  Grandcourt's  appearance  and  man- 
ners.    You  can't  find  anything  ridiculous  in  him." 

"  I  suppose  I  could  if  I  tried,  but  I  don't  want 
to  do  it,"  said  Gwendolen,  rather  pettishly;  and 
her  mamma  was  afraid  to  say  more. 

It  was  the  rule  on  these  occasions  for  the  ladies 
and  gentlemen  to  dine  apart,  so  that  the  dinner 
might  make  a  time  of  comparative  ease  and  rest 
for  both.  Indeed  the  gentlemen  had  a  set  of 
archery  stories  about  the  epicurism  of  the  ladies, 
who  had  somehow  been  reported  to  show  a  revolt- 
ingly  masculine  judgment  in  venison,  even  asking 
for  the  fat — a  proof  of  the  frightful  rate  at  which 
corruption  might  go  on  in  women,  but  for  severe 
social   restraint.      And   every   year  the   amiable 


Lord  Brackenshaw,  who  was  something  of  a  gour- 
met,  mentioned  Byron's  opinion  that  a  woman 
should  never  be  seen  eating, — ^introducing  it  with 
a  confidential — "The  fact  is" — as  if  he  were  for 
the  first  time  admitting  his  concurrence  in  that 
sentiment  of  the  refined  poet. 

In  the  ladies'  dining-room  it  was  evident  that 
Gwendolen  was  not  a  general  favourite  with  her 
own  sex ;  there  were  no  beginnings  of  intimacy 
between  her  and  other  girls,  and  in  conversation 
they  rather  noticed  what  she  said  than  spoke  to 
her  in  free  exchange.  Perhaps  it  was  that  she 
was  not  much  interested  in  them,  and  when  left 
alone  in  their  company  had  a  sense  of  empty 
benches.  Mrs  Vulcany  once  remarked  that  Miss 
Harleth  was  too  fond  of  the  gentlemen;  but 
we  know  that  she  was  not  in  the  least  fond  of 
them — she  was  only  fond  of  their  homage — and 
women  did  not  give  her  homage.  The  exception 
to  this  willing  aloofness  from  her  was  Miss  Ar- 
rowpoint,  who  often  managed  unostentatiously 
to  be  by  her  side,  and  talked  to  her  with  quiet 

"  She  knows,  as  I  do,  that  our  friends  are  ready 
to  quarrel  over  a  husband  for  us,"  thought  Gwen- 
dolen, "  and  she  is  determined  not  to  enter  into 
the  quarrel." 


"  I  think  Miss  Arrowpoint  has  the  best  manners 
I  ever  saw,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  when  she  and 
Gwendolen  were  in  a  dressing-room  with  Mrs 
Gascoigne  and  Anna,  but  at  a  distance  where  they 
could  have  their  talk  apart. 

"  I  wish  I  were  like  her,"  said  Gwendolen. 

"Why?  Are  you  getting  discontented  with 
yourself,  Gwen?" 

"  No  ;  but  I  am  discontented  with  things.  She 
seems  contented." 

"I  am  sure  you  ought  to  be  satisfied  to-day. 
You  must  have  enjoyed  the  shooting.  I  saw  you 

"  Oh,  that  is  over  now,  and  I  don't  know  what 
will  come  next,"  said  Gwendolen,  stretching  her- 
self with  a  sort  of  moan  and  throwing  up  her 
arms.  They -were  bare  now :  it  was  the  fashion  to 
dance  in  the  archery  dress,  throwing  off  the  jacket; 
and  the  simplicity  of  her  white  cashmere  with  its 
border  of  pale  green  set  off  her  form  to  the  utmost. 
A  thin  line  of  gold  round  her  neck,  and  the  gold 
star  on  her  breast,  were  her  only  ornaments.  Her 
smooth  soft  hair  piled  up  into  a  grand  crown  made 
a  clear  line  about  her  brow.  Sir  Joshua  would 
have  been  glad  to  take  her  portrait ;  and  he  would 
have  had  an  easier  task  than  the  historian  at  least 
in  this,  that  he  would  not  have  had  to  represent 


the  truth  of  change — only  to  give  stability  to  one 
beautiful  moment. 

"  The  dancing  will  come  next,"  said  Mrs 
Davilow.     "You  are  sure  to  enjoy  that." 

"  I  shall  only  dance  in  the  quadrille.  I  told 
Mr  Clintock  so.  I  shall  not  waltz  or  polk  with 
any  one." 

"  Why  in  the  world  do  you  say  that  all  on  a 
sudden  ? " 

"  I  can't  bear  having  ugly  people  so  near  me." 

"  Whom  do  you  mean  by  ugly  people  ? " 

«  Oh,  plenty." 

"  Mr  Clintock,  for  example,  is  not  ugly."  Mrs 
Davilow  dared  not  mention  Grandcourt. 

"  Well,  I  hate  woollen  cloth  touching  me." 

"  Fancy  ! "  said  Mrs  Davilow  to  her  sister  who 
now  came  up  from  the  other  end  of  the  room. 
"  Gwendolen  says  she  will  not  waltz  or  polk." 

"  She  is  rather  given  to  whims,  I  think,"  said 
Mrs  Gascoigne,  gravely.  "  It  would  be  more  be- 
coming in  her  to  behave  as  other  young  ladies  do 
on  such  an  occasion  as  this  ;  especially  when  she 
has  had  the  advantage  of  first-rate  dancing  lessons." 

"Why  should  I  waltz  if  I  don't  like  it,  aunt? 
It  is  not  in  the  Catechism." 

"  My  dear ! "  said  Mrs  Gascoigne,  in  a  tone  of 
severe  check,  and  Anna   looked  frightened    at 


Gwendolen's  daring.  But  they  all  passed  on  with- 
out saying  more. 

Apparently  something  had  changed  Gwendolen's 
mood  since  the  hour  of  exulting  enjoyment  in  the 
archery-ground.  But  she  did  not  look  the  worse 
under  the  chandeliers  in  the  ball-room,  where  the 
soft  splendour  of  the  scene  and  the  pleasant  odours 
from  the  conservatory  could  not  but  be  soothing 
to  the  temper,  when  accompanied  with  the  con- 
sciousness of  being  pre  -  eminently  sought  for. 
Hardly  a  dancing  man  but  was  anxious  to  have 
her  for  a  partner,  and  each  whom  she  accepted 
was  in  a  state  of  melancholy  remonstrance  that 
she  would  not  waltz  or  polk. 

"  Are  you  under  a  vow,  Miss  Harleth  ? " — "  Why 
are  you  so  cruel  to  us  all  ?" — "You  waltzed  with  me 
in  February." — "And  you  who  waltz  so  perfectly!" 
— were  exclamations  not  without  piquancy  for  her. 
The  ladies  who  waltzed,  naturally  thought  that 
Miss  Harleth  only  wanted  to  make  herself  partic- 
ular ;  but  her  uncle  when  he  overheard  her  refusal 
supported  her  by  saying — 

"Gwendolen  has  usually  good  reasons."  He 
thought  she  was  certainly  more  distinguished  in 
not  waltzing,  and  he  wished  her  to  be  distinguished. 
The  archery  ball  was  intended  to  be  kept  at  the 
subdued  pitch  that  suited  all  dignities   clerical 


and  secular :  it  was  not  an  escapement  for  youth- 
ful high  spirits,  and  he  himself  was  of  opinion 
that  the  fashionable  dances  were  too  much  of  a 

Among  the  remonstrant  dancing  men,  however, 
Mr  Grandcourt  was  not  numbered.  After  stand- 
ing up  for  a  quadrille  with  Miss  Arrowpoint,  it 
seemed  that  he  meant  to  ask  for  no  other  partner. 
Gwendolen  observed  hi  in  frequently  with  the 
Arrowpoints,  but  he  never  took  an  opportunity  of 
approaching  her.  Mr  Gascoigne  was  sometimes 
speaking  to  him ;  but  Mr  Gascoigne  was  every- 
where. It  was  in  her  mind  now  that  she  would 
probably  after  all  not  have  the  least  trouble  about 
him  :  perhaps  he  had  looked  at  her  without  any 
particular  admiration,  and  was  too  much  used  to 
everything  in  the  world  to  think  of  her  as  more 
than  one  of  the  girls  who  were  invited  in  that  part 
of  the  country.  Of  course  !  It  was  ridiculous 
of  elders  to  entertain  notions  about  what  a  man 
would  do,  without  having  seen  him  even  through 
a  telescope.  Probably  he  meant  to  marry  Miss 
An-owpoint.  Whatever  might  come,  she,  Gwen- 
dolen, was  not  going  to  be  disappointed :  the 
affair  was  a  joke  whichever  way  it  turned,  for  she 
had  never  committed  herself  even  by  a  silent  con- 
fidence in  anything  Mr   Grandcourt  would   do. 

VOL.  I.  0 


Still,  she  noticed  that  he  did  sometimes  quietly 
and  gradually  change  his  position  according  to 
hers,  so  that  he  could  see  her  whenever  she  was 
dancing,  and  if  he  did  not  admire  her — so  much 
the  worse  for  him. 

Tliis  movement  for  the  sake  of  being  in  sight  of 
her  was  more  direct  than  usual  rather  late  in  the 
evening,  when  Gwendolen  had  accepted  Klesmer 
as  a  partner ;  and  that  wide-glancing  personage, 
who  saw  everything  and  nothing  by  turns,  said  to 
her  when  they  were  walking,  "  Mr  Grandcourt  is  a 
man  of  taste.     He  likes  to  see  you  dancing." 

"  Perhaps  he  likes  to  look  at  what  is  against  his 
taste,"  said  Gwendolen,  with  a  light  laugh :  she 
was  quite  courageous  with  Klesmer  now.  "  He 
may  be  so  tired  of  admiring  that  he  likes  disgust 
for  a  variety." 

"  Those  words  are  not  suitable  to  your  lips,"  said 
Klesmer,  g^uickly,  with  one  of  his  grand  frowns, 
while  he  shook  his  hand  as  if  to  banish  the  discor- 
dant sounds. 

"  Are  you  as  critical  of  words  as  of  music  ? " 

"  Certainly  I  am.  I  should  require  your  words 
to  be  what  your  face  and  form  are — always  among 
the  meanings  of  a  noble  music." 

"  That  is  a  compliment  as  well  as  a  correction. 
I  am  obliged  for  both.     But  do  you  know  I  am 


bold  enough  to  wish  to  correct  you,  and  require 
you  to  understand  a  joke  V 

"  One  may  understand  jokes  without  liking 
them,"  said  the  terrible  Klesmer.  "I  have  had 
opera  books  sent  me  full  of  jokes ;  it  was  just 
because  I  understood  them  that  I  did  not  like 
them.  The  comic  people  are  ready  to  challenge 
a  man  because  he  looks  grave.  'You  don't  see 
the  witticism,  sir  ?  *  '  No,  sir,  but  I  see  what  you 
meant.'  Then  I  am  what  we  call  ticketed  as  a 
fellow  without  esjprit  But  in  fact,  "  said  Klesmer, 
suddenly  dropping  from  his  quick  narrative  to  a 
reflective  tone,  with  an  impressive  frown,  "  I  am 
very  sensible  to  wit  and  humour." 

"  I  am  glad  you  tell  me  that,"  said  Gwendolen, 
not  without  some  wickedness  of  intention.  But 
Klesmer's  thoughts  had  flown  off  on  the  wings  of 
his  own  statement,  as  their  habit  was,  and  she  had 
the  wickedness  all  to  herself.  "  Pray,  who  is  that 
standing  near  the  card-room  door  ? "  she  went  on, 
seeing  there  the  same  stranger  with  whom  Klesmer 
had  been  in  animated  talk  on  the  archery-ground. 
"  He  is  a  friend  of  yours,  I  think." 

"  No,  no ;  an  amateur  I  have  seen  in  town  ^ 
Lush,  a  Mr  Lush — too  fond  of  Meyerbeer  and 
Scribe — too  fond  of  the  mechanical-dramatic." 

"Thanks.      I   wanted  to  know   whether  you 


tlioiiglit  his  face  and  form  required  that  his  words 
should  be  among  the  meanings  of  noble  music  ? " 
Klesmer  was  conquered,  and  flashed  at  her  a 
delightful  smile  which  made  them  quite  friendly 
until  she  begged  to  be  deposited  by  the  side  of 
her  mamma. 

Three  minutes  afterwards  her  preparation  for 
Grandcourt's  indifference  were  all  cancelled. 
Turning  her  head  after  some  remark  to  her 
mother,  she  found  that  he  had  made  his  way  up 
to  her. 

'*  May  I  ask  if  you  are  tired  of  dancing,  Miss 
Harleth  ? "  he  began,  looking  down  with  his  for- 
mer unperturbed  expression. 

"Not  in  the  least." 

"Will  you  do  me  the  honour — the  next — or 
another  quadrille  ? " 

"  I  should  have  been  very  happy,"  said  Gwen- 
dolen, looking  at  her  card,  "  but  I  am  engaged  for 
the  next  to  Mr  Clintock — and  indeed  I  perceive 
that  I  am  doomed  for  every  quadrille :  I  have  not 
one  to  dispose  of."  She  was  not  sorry  to  punish 
Mr  Grandcourt's  tardiness,  yet  at  the  same  time 
she  would  have  liked  to  dance  with  him.  She 
gave  him  a  charming  smile  as  she  looked  up  to 
deliver  her  answer,  and  he  stood  still  looking 
down  at  her  with  no  smile  at  all. 


"  I  am  unfortunate  in  being  too  late,"  lie  said, 
after  a  moment's  pause. 

"It  seemed  to  me  that  you  did  not  care  for 
dancing,"  said  Gwendolen.  "  I  thought  it  might 
be  one  of  the  things  you  had  left  ojBF." 

"  Yes,  but  I  have  not  begun  to  dance  with  you," 
said  Grandcourt.  Always  there  was  the  same 
pause  before  he  took  up  his  cue.  "You  make 
dancing  a  new  thing — as  you  make  archery." 

"  Is  novelty  always  agreeable  ? " 

"  No,  no — not  always." 

"  Then  I  don't  know  whether  to  feel  flattered 
or  not.  When  you  had  once  danced  with  me 
there  would  be  no  more  novelty  in  it." 

"On  the  contrary.  There  would  probably  be 
much  more." 

"  That  is  deep.     I  don't  understand." 

"  Is  it  difficult  to  make  Miss  Harleth  understand 
her  power?"  Here  Grandcourt  had  turned  to 
Mrs  Davilow,  who,  smiling  gently  at  her  daughter, 
said — 

"  I  think  she  does  not  generally  strike  people 
as  slow  to  understand." 

"  Mamma,"  said  Gwendolen,  in  a  deprecating 
tone,  "  I  am  adorably  stupid,  and  want  everything 
explained  to  me — when  the  meaning  is  pleasant." 

"If  you  are  stupid,  I  admit  that  stupidity  is 


adorable,"  returned  Grandcourt,  after  the  usual 
pause,  and  without  change  of  tone.  But  clearly 
he  knew  what  to  say. 

"  I  begin  to  think  that  my  cavalier  has  forgotten 
me,"  Gwendolen  observed  after  a  little  while.  "  I 
see  the  quadrille  is  being  formed." 

"  He  deserves  to  be  renounced,"  said  Grandcourt. 

"I  think  he  is  very  pardonable,"  said  Gwen- 

"There  must  have  been  some  misunderstand- 
ing," said  Mrs  Davilow.  "  Mr  Clintock  was  too 
anxious  about  the  engagement  to  have  forgotten 

But  now  Lady  Brackenshaw  came  up  and  said, 
"  Miss  Harleth,  Mr  Clintock  has  charged  me  to 
express  to  you  his  deep  regret  that  he  was  obliged 
to  leave  without  having  the  pleasure  of  dancing 
with  you  again.  An  express  came  from  his 
father  the  archdeacon:  something  important:  he 
was  obliged  to  go.     He  was  au  d^sespoir." 

"  Oh,  he  was  very  good  to  remember  the  engage- 
ment under  the  circumstances,"  said  Gwendolen. 
"  I  am  sorry  he  was  called  away."  It  was  easy  to 
be  politely  sorrowful  on  so  felicitous  an  occasion. 

"Then  I  can  profit  by  Mr  Clintock's  misfor- 
tune ? "  said  Grandcourt.  "  May  I  hope  that  you 
will  let  me  take  his  place  ? " 


"I  shall  be  very  happy  to  dance  the  next 
quadrille  with  you." 

The  appropriateness  of  the  event  seemed  an 
augury,  and  as  Gwendolen  stood  up  for  the  quad- 
rille with  Grandcourt,  there  was  a  revival  in  her 
of  the  exultation — the  sense  of  carrying  every- 
thing before  her,  which  she  had  felt  earlier  in 
the  day.  No  man  could  have  walked  through 
the  quadrille  with  more  irreproachable  ease  than 
Grandcourt;  and  the  absence  of  all  eagerness 
in  his  attention  to  her  suited  his  partner's  taste. 
She  was  now  convinced  that  he  meant  to  dis- 
tinguish her,  to  mark  his  admiration  of  her  in  a 
noticeable  way ;  and  it  began  to  appear  probable 
that  she  would  have  it  in  her  power  to  reject 
him,  whence  there  was  a  pleasure  in  reckoning  up 
the  advantages  which  would  make  her  rejection 
splendid,  and  in  giving  Mr  Grandcourt  his  utmost 
value.  It  was  also  agreeable  to  divine  that  his 
exclusive  selection  of  her  to  dance  with,  from 
among  all  the  unmarried  ladies  present,  would 
attract  observation ;  though  she  studiously  avoided 
seeing  this,  and  at  the  end  of  the  quadrille  walked 
away  on  Grandcourt*s  arm  as  if  she  had  been  one 
of  the  shortest  sighted  instead  of  the  longest  and 
widest  sighted  of  mortals.  They  encountered  Miss 
Arrowpoint,  who  was  standing  with  Lady  Bracken- 


shaw  and  a  group  of  gentlemen.  The  heiress 
looked  at  Gwendolen  invitingly  and  said,  "  I  hope 
you  will  vote  with  us,  Miss  Harleth,  and  Mr 
Grandcourt  too,  though  he  is  not  an  archer." 
Gwendolen  and  Grandcourt  paused  to  join  the 
group,  and  found  that  the  voting  turned  on  the 
project  of  a  picnic  archery  meeting  to  be  held  in 
Cardell  Chase,  where  the  evening  entertainment 
would  be  more  poetic  than  a  ball  under  chandeliers 
— a  feast  of  sunset  lights  along  the  glades  and 
through  the  branches  and  over  the  solemn  tree- 

Gwendolen  thought  the  scheme  delightful  — 
equal  to  playing  Kobin  Hood  and  Maid  Marian ; 
and  Mr  Grandcourt,  when  appealed  to  a  second 
time,  said  it  was  a  thing  to  be  done ;  whereupon 
Mr  Lush,  who  stood  behind  Lady  Brackenshaw's 
elbow,  drew  Gwendolen's  notice  by  saying,  with 
a  familiar  look  and  tone,  to  Grandcourt,  "  Diplow 
would  be  a  good  place  for  the  meeting,  and  more 
convenient:  there's  a  fine  bit  between  the  oaks 
towards  the  north  gate." 

Impossible  to  look  more  unconscious  of  being 
addressed  than  Grandcourt ;  but  Gwendolen  took 
a  new  survey  of  the  speaker,  deciding,  first,  that  he 
must  be  on  terms  of  intimacy  with  the  tenant  of 
Diplow,  and,  secondly,  that  she  would  never,  if  she 


could  help  it,  let  him  come  within  a  yard  of  her. 
She  was  subject  to  physical  antipathies,  and  Mr 
Lush's  prominent  eyes,  fat  though  not  clumsy 
figure,  and  strong  black  grey-besprinkled  hair  of 
frizzy  thickness,  which,  with  the  rest  of  his  pros- 
perous person,  was  enviable  to  many,  created  one 
of  the  strongest  of  her  antipathies.  To  be  safe 
from  his  looking  at  her,  she  murmured  to  Grand- 
court,  "  I  should  like  to  continue  walking." 

He  obeyed  immediately ;  but  when  they  were 
thus  away  from  any  audience,  he  spoke  no  word 
for  several  minutes,  and  she,  out  of  a  half-amused, 
half-serious  inclination  for  experiment,  would  not 
speak  first.  They  turned  into  the  large  con- 
servatory, beautifully  lit  up  with  Chinese  lamps. 
The  other  couples  there  were  at  a  distance  which 
would  not  have  interfered  with  any  dialogue,  but 
still  they  walked  in  silence  until  they  had  reached 
the  farther  end  where  there  was  a  flush  of  pink 
light,  and  the  second  wide  opening  into  the  ball- 
room. Grandcourt,  when  they  had  half  turned 
round,  paused  and  said  languidly — 

"  Do  you  like  this  kind  of  thing  ? " 

If  the  situation  had  been  described  to  Gwen- 
dolen half  an  hour  before,  she  would  have  laughed 
heartily  at  it,  and  could  only  have  imagined  her- 
self returning  a  playful,  satirical  answer.     But  for 


some  mysterious  reason — it  was  a  mystery  of 
which  she  had  a  faint  wondering  consciousness — 
she  dared  not  be  satirical :  she  had  begun  to  feel 
a  wand  over  her  that  made  her  afraid  of  offending 

"  Yes,"  she  said,  quietly,  without  considering 
what  "kind  of  thing"  was  meant— whether  the 
flowers,  the  scents,  the  ball  in  general,  or  this  epi- 
sode of  walking  with  Mr  Grandcourt  in  particular. 
And  they  returned  along  the  conservatory  without 
farther  interpretation.  She  then  proposed  to  go 
and  sit  down  in  her  old  place,  and  they  walked 
among  scattered  couples  preparing  for  the  waltz 
to  the  spot  where  Mrs  Davilow  had  been  seated 
all  the  evening.  As  they  approached  it  her  seat 
was  vacant,  but  she  was  coming  towards  it  again, 
and,  to  Gwendolen's  shuddering  annoyance,  with 
Mr  Lush  at  her  elbow.  There  was  no  avoiding 
the  confrontation  :  her  mamma  came  close  to  her 
before  they  had  reached  the  seats,  and,  after  a 
quiet  greeting  smile,  said  innocently,  "  Gwendolen, 
dear,  let  me  present  Mr  Lush  to  you."  Having 
just  made  the  acquaintance  of  this  personage, 
as  an  intimate  and  constant  companion  of  Mr 
Grandcourt's,  Mrs  Davilow  imagined  it  altogether 
desirable  that  her  daughter  also  should  make  the 


It  was  hardly  a  bow  that  Gwendolen  gave — 
rather,  it  was  the  slightest  forward  sweep  of  the 
head  away  from  the  physiognomy  that  inclined 
itseK  towards  her,  and  she  immediately  moved 
towards  her  seat,  saying,  "  I  want  to  put  on  my 
burnous."  No  sooner  had  she  reached  it,  than 
Mr  Lush  was  there,  and  had  the  burnous  in  his 
hand :  to  annoy  this  supercilious  young  lady,  he 
would  incur  the  ofience  of  forestalling  Grand- 
court;  and,  holding  up  the  garment  close  to 
Gwendolen,  he  said,  "  Pray,  permit  me  ? "  But 
she,  wheeling  away  from  him  as  if  he  had  been 
a  muddy  hound,  glided  on  to  the  ottoman,  saying, 
"  No,  thank  you.'' 

A  man  who  forgave  this  would  have  much 
Christian  feeling,  supposing  he  had  intended  to  be 
agreeable  to  the  young  lady  ;  but  before  he  seized 
the  burnous  Mr  Lush  had  ceased  to  have  that 
intention.  Grandcourt  quietly  took  the  drapery 
from  him,  and  Mr  Lush,  with  a  slight  bow,  moved 

"  You  had  perhaps  better  put  it  on,"  said  Mr 
Grandcourt,  looking  down  on  her  without  change 
of  expression. 

"  Thanks ;  perhaps  it  would  be  wise,"  said 
Gwendolen,  rising,  and  submitting  very  gracefully 
to  take  the  burnous  on  her  shoulders. 


After  that,  Mr  Grandcourt  exchanged  a  few 
polite  speeches  with  Mrs  Davilow,  and,  in  taking 
leave,  asked  permission  to  call  at  OfFendene  the 
next  day.  He  was  evidently  not  offended  by  the 
insult  directed  towards  his  friend.  Certainly, 
Gwendolen's  refusal  of  the  burnous  from  Mr  Lush 
was  open  to  the  interpretation  that  she  wished  to 
receive  it  from  Mr  Grandcourt.  But  she,  poor 
child,  had  had  no  design  in  this  action,  and  was 
simply  following  her  antipathy  and  inclination, 
confiding  in  them  as  she  did  in  the  more  reflective 
judgments  into  which  they  entered  as  sap  into 
leafage.  Gwendolen  had  no  sense  that  these  men 
were  dark  enigmas  to  her,  or  that  she  needed  any 
help  in  drawing  conclusions  about  them  —  Mr 
Grandcourt  at  least.  The  chief  question  was,  how 
far  his  character  and  ways  might  answer  her 
wishes  ;  and  unless  she  were  satisfied  about  that, 
she  had  said  to  herself  that  she  would  not  accept 
his  offer. 

Could  there  be  a  slenderer,  more  insignificant 
thread  in  human  history  than  this  consciousness 
of  a  girl,  busy  with  her  small  inferences  of  the 
way  in  which  she  could  make  her  life  pleasant  ? 
— in  a  time,  too,  when  ideas  were  with  fresh  vig- 
our making  armies  of  themselves,  and  the  uni- 


versal  kinship  was  declaring  itself  fiercely :  when 
women  on  the  other  side  of  the  world  would  not 
mourn  for  the  husbands  and  sons  who  died  bravely 
in  a  common  cause,  and  men  stinted  of  bread  on 
our  side  of  the  world  heard  of  that  willing  loss 
and  were  patient :  a  time  when  the  soul  of  man 
was  waking  to  pulses  which  had  for  centuries 
been  beating  in  him  unheard,  until  their  full  sum 
made  a  new  life  of  terror  or  of  joy. 

What  in  the  midst  of  that  mighty  drama  are 
girls  and  their  blind  visions  ?  They  are  the  Yea 
or  Nay  of  that  good  for  which  men  are  endur- 
ing and  fighting.  In  these  delicate  vessels  is 
borne  onward  through  the  ages  the  treasure  of 
human  affections. 


'  O  gentlemen,  the  time  of  life  is  short ; 
To  spend  that  shortness  basely  were  too  long, 
If  life  did  ride  upon  a  dial's  point. 
Still  ending  at  the  arrival  of  an  hour." 

— Shakespeare  :  Henry  IV. 

On  the  second  day  after  the  Archery  Meeting,  Mr 
Henleigh  Mallinger  Grandcourt  was  at  his  break- 
fast-table with  Mr  Lush.  Everything  around 
them  was  agreeable :  the  summer  air  through  the 
open  windows,  at  which  the  dogs  could  walk  in 
from  the  old  green  turf  on  the  lawn;  the  soft, 
purplish  colouring  of  the  park  beyond,  stretching 
towards  a  mass  of  bordering  wood ;  the  still  life 
in  the  room,  which  seemed  the  stiller  for  its  sober 
antiquated  elegance,  as  if  it  kept  a  conscious,  well- 
bred  silence,  unlike  the  restlessness  of  vulgar 

Whether  the  gentlemen  were  agreeable  to  each 
other  was  less  evident.  Mr  Grandcourt  had 
drawn  his  chair  aside  so  as  to  face  the  lawn, 
and,  with  his  left  leg  over  another  chair,  and  his 


right  elbow  on  the  table,  was  smoking  a  large 
cigar,  while  his  companion  was  still  eating.  The 
(logs — half-a-dozen  of  various  kinds  were  moving 
lazily  in  and  out,  or  taking  attitudes  of  brief 
attention — gave  a  vacillating  preference  first  to 
one  gentleman,  then  to  the  other  ;  being  dogs  in 
such  good  circumstances  that  they  could  play  at 
hunger,  and  liked  to  be  served  with  delicacies 
which  they  declined  to  put  into  their  mouths; 
all  except  Fetch,  the  beautiful  liver-coloured 
water-spaniel,  which  sat  with  its  fore-paws  firmly 
planted  and  its  expressive  brown  face  turned 
upward,  watching  Grandcourt  with  unshaken 
constancy.  He  held  in  his  lap  a  tiny  Maltese 
dog  with  a  tiny  silver  collar  and  bell,  and  when 
he  had  a  hand  unused  by  cigar  or  coffee-cup,  it 
rested  on  this  small  parcel  of  animal  warmth.  I 
fear  that  Fetch  was  jealous,  and  wounded  that 
her  master  gave  her  no  word  or  look ;  at  last  it 
seemed  that  she  could  bear  this  neglect  no  longer, 
and  she  gently  put  her  large  silky  paw  on  her 
master's  leg.  Grandcourt  looked  at  her  with 
unchanged  face  for  half  a  minute,  and  then  took 
the  trouble  to  lay  down  his  cigar  while  he  lifted 
the  unimpassioned  Fluff  close  to  his  chin  and 
gave  it  caressing  pats,  all  the  while  gravely  watch- 
ing Fetch,  who,  poor  thing,  whimpered  interrupt- 


edly,  as  if  trying  to  represKS  that  sign  of  discontent, 
and  at  last  rested  her  head  beside  the  appealing 
paw,  looking  np  with  piteons  beseeching.  So,  at 
least,  a  lover  of  dogs  must  have  interpreted  Fetch, 
and  Grandcourt  kept  so  many  dogs  that  he  was 
reputed  to  love  them  ;  at  any  rate,  his  impulse  to 
act  just  in  this  way  started  from  such  an  inter- 
pretation. But  when  the  amusing  anguish  burst 
forth  in  a  howling  bark,  Grandcourt  pushed  Fetch 
down  without  speaking,  and,  depositing  Fluff 
carelessly  on  the  table  (where  his  black  nose  pre- 
dominated over  a  salt-cellar),  began  to  look  to  his 
cigar,  and  found,  with  some  annoyance  against 
Fetch  as  the  cause,  that  the  brute  of  a  cigar 
required  relighting.  Fetch,  having  begun  to  wail, 
found,  like  others  of  her  sex,  that  it  was  not  easy 
to  leave  off ;  indeed,  the  second  howl  was  a  louder 
one,  and  the  third  was  like  unto  it. 

"  Turn  out  that  brute,  will  you  ? "  said  Grand- 
court  to  Lush,  without  raising  his  voice  or  look- 
ing at  him — as  if  he  counted  on  attention  to  the 
smallest  sign. 

And  Lush  immediately  rose,  lifted  Fetch,  though 
she  was  rather  heavy  and  he  was  not  fond  of 
stooping,  and  carried  her  out,  disposing  of  her 
in  some  way  that  took  him  a  couple  of  minutes 
before  he  returned.  .  He  then  lit  a  cigar,  placed 


himself  at  an  angle  where  he  could  see  Grand- 
court's  face  without  turning,  and  presently  said — 

"  Shall  you  ride  or  drive  to  Quetcham  to-day? " 

"  I  am  not  going  to  Quetcham." 

"  You  did  not  go  yesterday." 

Grandcourt  smoked  in  silence  for  half  a  minute 
and  then  said — 

*'  I  suppose  you  sent  my  card  and  inquiries." 

"  I  went  myself  at  four,  and  said  you  were 
sure  to  be  there  shortly.  They  would  suppose 
some  accident  prevented  you  from  fulfilling  the 
intention.     Especially  if  you  go  to-day." 

Silence  for  a  couple  of  minutes.  Then  Grand- 
court  said, "  What  men  are  invited  here  with  their 
wives  ? " 

Lush  drew  out  a  note-book.  "  The  Captain  and 
Mrs  Torrington  come  next  week.  Then  there  are 
Mr  Hollis,  and  Lady  Flora,  and  the  Cushats,  and 
the  Gogoffs." 

"Rather  a  ragged  lot,"  remarked  Grandcourt 
after  a  while.  "  Why  did  you  ask  the  Gogoffs  ? 
When  you  write  invitations  in  my  name,  be  good 
enough  to  give  me  a  list,  instead  of  bringing  down 
a  giantess  on  me  without  my  knowledge.  She 
spoils  the  look  of  the  room." 

"You  invited  the  Gogoffs  yourself,  when  you 
met  them  in  Paris." 

VOL.  I.  p 


"What  has  my  meeting  them  in  Paris  to  do 
with  it  ?     I  told  you  to  give  me  a  list." 

Grandcourt,  like  many  others,  had  two  remark- 
ably different  voices.  Hitherto  we  have  heard 
him  speaking  in  a  superficial  interrupted  drawl 
suggestive  chiefly  of  languor  and  ennui.  But  this 
last  brief  speech  was  uttered  in  subdued,  inward, 
yet  distinct  tones,  which  Lush  had  long  been 
used  to  recognise  as  the  expression  of  a  peremp- 
tory will. 

"  Are  there  any  other  couples  you  would  like 
to  invite?'* 

"Yes;  think  of  some  decent  people,  with  a 
daughter  or  two.  And  one  of  your  damned  musi- 
cians.    But  not  a  comic  fellow." 

"  I  wonder  if  Klesmer  would  consent  to  come 
to  us  when  he  leaves  Quetcham.  Nothing  but 
first-rate  music  will  go  down  with  Miss  Arrow- 

Lush  spoke  carelessly,  but  he  was  really  seiz- 
ing an  opportunity  and  fixing  an  observant  look 
on  Grandcourt,  who  now  for  the  first  time  turned 
his  eyes  towards  his  companion,  but  slowly,  and 
without  speaking  until  he  had  given  two  long 
luxurious  puffs,  when  he  said,  perhaps  in  a  lower 
tone  than  ever,  but  with  a  perceptible  edge  of 
contempt — 


"  What  in  the  name  of  nonsense  have  I  to  do 
with  Miss  Arrowpoint  and  her  music  ? " 

"  Well,  something,"  said  Lush,  jocosely.  "  You 
need  not  give  yourself  much  trouble,  perhaps. 
But  some  forms  must  be  gone  through  before  a 
man  can  marry  a  million." 

"  Very  likely.  But  I  am  not  going  to  marry 
a  million." 

"That's  a  pity — to  fling  away  an  opportunity 
of  this  sort,  and  knock  down  your  own  plans." 

"  Your  plans,  I  suppose  you  mean." 

"  You  have  some  debts,  you  know,  and  things 
may  turn  out  inconveniently  after  all.  The  heir- 
ship is  not  absolutely  certain." 

Grandcourt  did  not  answer  and  Lush  went  on. 

"It  really  is  a  fine  oppoi-tunity.  The  father 
and  mother  ask  for  nothing  better,  I  can  see,  and 
the  daughter's  looks  and  manners  require  no  al- 
lowances, any  more  than  if  she  hadn't  a  sixpence. 
She  is  not  beautiful ;  but  equal  to  carrying  any 
rank.  And  she  is  not  likely  to  refuse  such  pro- 
spects as  you  can  offer  her." 

"  Perhaps  not.'* 

"  The  father  and  mother  would  let  you  do  any- 
thing you  liked  with  them." 

"But  I  should  not  like  to  do  anything  with 


Here  it  was  Lush  wlio  made  a  little  pause 
before  speaking  again,  and  then  he  said  in  a  deep 
voice  of  remonstrance,  "  Good  God,  Grandcourt ! 
after  your  experience,  will  you  let  a  whim  inter- 
fere with  your  comfortable  settlement  in  life  V* 

"  Spare  your  oratory.  I  know  what  I  am  go- 
ing to  do." 

"  What  ?"  Lush  put  down  his  cigar  and  thrust 
his  hands  into  his  side  pockets,  as  if  he  had  to 
face  something  exasperating,  but  meant  to  keep 
his  temper. 

"  I  am  going  to  marry  the  other  girl." 

"  Have  you  fallen  in  love  ? "  This  question 
carried  a  strong  sneer. 

"  I  am  going  to  marry  her." 

"  You  have  made  her  an  offer  already,  then  ?" 


"  She  is  a  young  lady  with  a  will  of  her  own, 
I  fancy.  Extremely  well  fitted  to  make  a  rumpus. 
She  would  know  what  she  liked." 

"  She  doesn't  like  you,"  said  Grandcourt,  with 
the  ghost  of  a  smile. 

"  Perfectly  true,"  said  Lush,  adding  again  in  a 
markedly  sneering  tone,  "  However,  if  you  and 
she  are  devoted  to  each  other,  that  will  be 

Grandcourt  took '  no  notice  of  this  speech,  but 


sipped  his  coffee,  rose,  and  strolled  out  on  the 
lawn,  all  the  dogs  following  him. 

Lush  glanced  after  him  a  moment,  then  resumed 
his  cigar  and  lit  it,  but  smoked  slowly,  consulting 
his  beard  with  inspecting  eyes  and  fingers,  till  he 
finally  stroked  it  with  an  air  of  having  arrived  at 
some  conclusion,  and  said,  in  a  subdued  voice — 

"Check,  old  boy!" 

Lush,  being  a  man  of  some  ability,  had  not 
known  Grandcourt  for  fifteen  years  without  learn- 
ing what  sort  of  measures  were  useless  with  him, 
though  what  sort  might  be  useful  remained  often 
dubious.  In  the  beginning  of  his  career  he  held 
a  fellowship,  and  was  near  taking  orders  for  the 
sake  of  a  college  living,  but  not  being  fond  of 
that  prospect  accepted  instead  the  of&ce  of  travel- 
ling companion  to  a  marquess,  and  afterwards  to 
young  Grandcourt,  who  had  lost  his  father  early, 
and  who  found  Lush  so  convenient  that  he  had 
allowed  him  to  become  prime  minister  in  all  his 
more  personal  affairs.  The  habit  of  fifteen  years 
had  made  Grandcourt  more  and  more  in  need  of 
Lush's  handiness,  and  Lush  more  and  more  in 
need  of  the  lazy  luxury  to  which  his  transactions 
on  behalf  of  Grandcourt  made  no  interruption 
worth  reckoning.  I  cannot  say  that  the  same 
lengthened    habit   had    intensified    Grandcourt's 


want  of  respect  for  his  companion  since  that  wan£ 
had  been  absolute  from  the  beginning,  but  it  had 
confirmed  his  sense  that  he  might  kick  Lush  if 
he  chose — only  he  never  did  choose  to  kick  any 
animal,  because  the  act   of  kicking  is  a  com- 
promising attitude,  and  a  gentleman's  dogs  should 
be  kicked  for  him.     He  only  said  things  which 
might  have  exposed  himself  to  be  kicked  if  his 
confidant  had  been  a  man  of  independent  spirit. 
But  what  son  of  a  vicar  who  has  stinted  his  wife 
and  daughters  of  calico  in  order  to  send  his  male 
offspring  to  Oxford,  can  keep   an  independent 
spirit  when  he  is  bent  on  dining  with  high  dis- 
crimination, riding  good  horses,  living  generally 
in  the  most  luxuriant  honey-blossomed  clover — 
and  all  without  working  ?    Mr  Lush  had  passed 
for  a  scholar  once,  and  had  still  a  sense  of  scholar- 
ship when  he  was  not  trying  to  remember  much 
of  it;  but  the  bachelors'  and  other  arts  which 
soften  manners  are  a  time-honoured  preparation 
for   sinecures ;    and   Lush's  present  comfortable 
provision  was  as  good  as  a  sinecure  in  not  requir- 
ing more  than  the  odour  of  departed  learning. 
He  was  not  unconscious  of  being  held  kickable, 
but  he  preferred  counting  that  estimate  among 
the  peculiarities  of  Grandcourt's  character,  which 
made  one  of  his  incalculable  moods  or  judgments 


as  good  as  anotlier.  Since  in  his  own  opinion  he 
had  never  done  a  bad  action,  it  did  not  seem 
necessary  to  consider  whether  he  should  be  likely 
to  commit  one  if  his  love  of  ease  required  it. 
Lush's  love  of  ease  was  well  satisfied  at  present, 
and  if  his  puddings  were  rolled  towards  him  in 
the  dust,  he  took  the  inside  bits  and  found  them 

This  morning,  for  example,  though  he  had 
encountered  more  annoyance  than  usual,  he  went 
to  his  private  sitting-room  and  played  a  good  hour 
on  the  violoncello. 



"  Philistia,  be  thou  glad  of  me  !" 

Grandcourt  having  made  up  his  mind  to  marry 
Miss  Harleth  showed  a  power  of  adapting  means 
to  ends.  During  the  next  fortnight  there  was 
hardly  a  day  on  which  by  some  arrangement  or 
other  he  did  not  see  her,  or  prove  by  emphatic 
attentions  that  she  occupied  his  thoughts.  His 
cousin  Mrs  Torrington  was  now  doing  the  honours 
of  his  house,  so  that  Mrs  Davilow  and  Gwendolen 
could  be  invited  to  a  large  party  at  Diplow  in 
which  there  were  many  witnesses  how  the  host 
distinguished  the  dowerless  beauty,  and  showed 
no  solicitude  about  the  heiress.  The  world — I 
mean  Mr  Gascoigne  and  all  the  families  worth 
speaking  of  within  visiting  distance  of  Pennicote 
— felt  an  assurance  on  the  subject  which  in  the 
Eector's  mind  converted  itself  into  a  resolution  to 
do  his  duty  by  his  niece  and  see  that  the  settle- 


ments  were  adequate.  Indeed,  the  wonder  to  him 
and  Mrs  Davilow  was  that  the  offer  for  which  so 
many  suitable  occasions  presented  themselves  had 
not  been  already  made  ;  and  in  this  wonder  Grai^d- 
court  himself  was  not  without  a  share.  When  he 
had  told  his  resolution  to  Lush  he  had  thought 
that  the  affair  would  be  concluded  more  quickly, 
and  to  his  own  surprise  he  had  repeatedly  prom- 
ised himself  in  a  morning  that  he  would  to-day 
give  Gwendolen  the  opportunity  of  accepting  him, 
and  had  found  in  the  evening  that  the  necessary 
formality  was  still  unaccomplished.  This  remark- 
able fact  served  to  heighten  his  determination  on 
another  day.  He  had  never  admitted  to  himself 
that  Gwendolen  might  refuse  him,  but — heaven 
help  us  all ! — we  are  often  unable  to  act  on  our 
certainties ;  our  objection  to  a  contrary  issue  (were 
it  possible)  is  so  strong  that  it  rises  like  a  spectral 
illusion  between  us  and  our  certainty:  we  are 
rationall}'-  sure  that  the  blind-worm  cannot  bite 
us  mortally,  but  it  would  be  so  intolerable  to  be 
bitten,  and  the  creature  has  a  biting  look  —  we 
decline  to  handle  it. 

He  had  asked  leave  to  have  a  beautiful  horse  of 
his  brought  for  Gwendolen  to  ride.  Mrs  Davilow 
was  to  accompany  her  in  the  carriage,  and  they 
were  to  go  to  Diplow  to  lunch,  Grandcourt  con- 


ducting  them.  It  was  a  fine  mid-harvest  time, 
not  too  warm  for  a  noon-day  ride  of  five  miles  to 
be  delightful :  the  poppies  glowed  on  the  borders 
of  the  fields,  there  was  enough  breeze  to  move 
gently  like  a  social  spirit  among  the  ears  of  uncut 
corn,  and  to  wing  the  shadow  of  a  cloud  across 
the  soft  grey  downs ;  here  the  sheaves  were  stand- 
ing, there  the  horses  were  straining  their  muscles 
under  the  last  load  from  a  wide  space  of  stubble, 
but  everywhere  the  green  pastures  made  a  broader 
setting  for  the  corn-fields,  and  the  cattle  took  their 
rest  under  wide  branches.  The  road  lay  through 
a  bit  of  country  where  the  dairy-farms  looked 
much  as  they  did  in  the  days  of  our  forefathers 
— where  peace  and  permanence  seemed  to  find  a 
home  away  from  the  busy  change  that  sent  the 
railway  train  flying  in  the  distance. 

But  the  spirit  of  peace  and  permanence  did  not 
penetrate  poor  Mrs  Davilow's  mind  so  as  to  over- 
come her  habit  of  uneasy  foreboding.  Gwendolen 
and  Grandcourt  cantering  in  front  of  her,  and  then 
slackening  their  pace  to  a  conversational  walk 
till  the  carriage  came  up  with  them  again,  made 
a  gratifying  sight ;  but  it  served  chiefly  to  keep 
up  the  conflict  of  hopes  and  fears  about  her 
daughter's  lot.  Here  was  an  irresistible  oppor- 
tunity for  a  lover  to  speak  and  put  an  end  to  all 


uncertainties,  and  Mrs  Davilow  could  only  hope 
with  trembling  that  Gwendolen's  decision  would 
be  favourable.  Certainly  if  Eex's  love  had  been 
repugnant  to  her,  Mr  Grandcourt  had  the  advan- 
tage of  being  in  complete  contrast  with  Eex ;  and 
that  he  had  produced  some  quite  novel  impression 
on  her  seemed  evident  in  her  marked  abstinence 
from  satirical  observations,  nay,  her  total  silence 
about  his  characteristics,  a  silence  which  Mrs 
Davilow  did  not  dare  to  break.  "  Is  he  a  man 
she  would  be  happy  with?" — was  a  question  that 
inevitably  arose  in  the  mother's  mind.  "Well, 
perhaps  as  happy  as  she  would  be  with  any  one 
else — or  as  most  other  women  are" — was  the 
answer  with  which  she  tried  to  quiet  herself ;  for 
she  could  not  imagine  Gwendolen  under  the  in- 
fluence of  any  feeling  which  would  make  her 
satisfied  in  what  we  traditionally  call  "  mean 

Grandcourt's  own  thought  was  looking  in  the 
same  direction:  he  wanted  to  have  done  with 
the  uncertainty  that  belonged  to  his  not  having 
spoken.  As  to  any  further  uncertainty — well,  it 
was  something  without  any  reasonable  basis,  some 
quality  in  the  air  which  acted  as  an  irritant  to 
his  wishes. 

Gwendolen  enjoyed  the  riding,  but  her  pleasure 


did  not  break  forth  in  girlish  unpremeditated  chat 
and  laughter  as  it  did  on  that  morning  with  Eex. 
She  spoke  a  little,  and  even  laughed,  but  with  a 
lightness  as  of  a  far-off  echo :  for  her  too  there  was 
some  peculiar  quality  in  the  air — not,  she  was 
sure,  any  subjugation  of  her  will  by  Mr  Grand- 
court,  and  the  splendid  prospects  he  meant  to  offer 
her ;  for  Gwendolen  desired  every  one,  that  dig- 
nified gentleman  himself  included,  to  understand 
that  she  was  going  to  do  just  as  she  liked,  and 
that  they  had  better  not  calculate  on  her  pleasing 
them.  If  she  chose  to  take  this  husband,  she 
would  have  him  know  that  she  was  not  going  to 
renounce  her  freedom,  or  according  to  her  favourite 
formula,  "not  going  to  do  as  other  women  did." 

Grandcourt's  speeches  this  morning  were,  as 
usual,  all  of  that  brief  sort  which  never  fails  to 
make  a  conversational  figure  when  the  speaker  is 
held  important  in  his  circle.  Stopping  so  soon, 
they  give  signs  of  a  suppressed  and  formidable 
ability  to  say  more,  and  have  also  the  meritorious 
quality  of  allowing  lengthiness  to  others. 

"  How  do  you  like  Criterion's  paces  ? "  he  said, 
after  they  had  entered  the  park  and  were  slacken- 
ing from  a  canter  to  a  walk. 

"  He  is  delightful  to  ride.  I  should  like  to 
have  a  leap  with  him,  if  it  would  not  frighten 


mamma.  There  was  a  good  wide  channel  we 
passed  five  minutes  ago.  I  should  like  to  have  a 
gallop  back  and  take  it." 

'*  Pray  do.     We  can  take  it  together." 

"  No,  thanks.  Mamma  is  so  timid — if  she  saw 
me  it  might  make  her  ill.'* 

"  Let  me  go  and  explain.  Criterion  would  take 
it  without  fail." 

"  No — indeed — you  are  very  kind — but  it  would 
alarm  her  too  much.  I  dare  take  any  leap  when 
she  is  not  by ;  but  I  do  it,  and  don't  tell  her 
about  it." 

"  We  can  let  the  carriage  pass,  and  then  set 

**  No,  no,  pray  don't  think  of  it  any  more ;  I 
spoke  quite  randomly,"  said  Gwendolen;  she  be- 
gan to  feel  a  new  objection  to  carrying  out  her 
own  proposition. 

"  But  Mrs  Davilow  knows  I  shall  take  care  of 

"  Yes,  but  she  would  think  of  you  as  having  to 
take  care  of  my  broken  neck." 

There  was  a  considerable  pause  before  Grand- 
court  said,  looking  towards  her,  "  I  should  like  to 
have  the  right  always  to  take  care  of  you." 

Gwendolen  did  not  turn  her  eyes  on  him  :  it 
seemed  to  her   a  long  while  that  she  was  first 


blushing,  and  then  turning  pale,  but  to  Grand- 
court's  rate  of  judgment  she  answered  soon  enough, 
with  the  lightest  flute-tone  and  a  careless  move- 
ment of  the  head,  "  Oh,  I  am  not  sure  that  I  want 
to  be  taken  care  of :  if  I  chose  to  risk  breaking 
my  neck,  I  should  like  to  be  at  liberty  to  do  it." 

She  checked  her  horse  as  she  spoke,  and  turned 
in  her  saddle,  looking  towards  the  advancing  car- 
riage. Her  eyes  swept  across  Grandcourt  as  she 
made  this  movement,  but  there  was  no  language 
in  them  to  correct  the  carelessness  of  her  reply. 
At  that  very  moment  she  was  aware  that  she  was 
risking  something  —  not  her  neck,  but  the  pos- 
sibility of  finally  checking  Grandcourt's  advances, 
and  she  did  not  feel  contented  with  the  possi- 

"  Damn  her ! "  thought  Grandcourt,  as  he  too 
checked  his  horse.  He  was  not  a  wordy  thinker, 
and  this  explosive  phrase  stood  for  mixed  impres- 
sions which  eloquent  interpreters  might  have 
expanded  into  some  sentences  full  of  an  irritated 
sense  that  he  was  being  mystified,  and  a  determina- 
tion that  this  girl  should  not  make  a  fool  of  him. 
Did  she  want  him  to  throw  himself  at  her  feet  and 
declare  that  he  was  dying  for  her  ?  It  was  not  by 
that  gate  that  she  would  enter  on  the  privileges  he 
could  give  her.     Or  did  she  expect  him  to  vrrite 


his  proposals  ?  Equally  a  delusion.  He  would  not 
make  his  offfer  in  any  way  that  could  place  him 
definitely  in  the  position  of  being  rejected.  But  as 
to  her  accepting  him,  she  had  done  it  already  in 
accepting  his  marked  attentions;  and  anything 
which  happened  to  break  them  off  would  be  un- 
derstood to  her  disadvantage.  She  was  merely 
coquetting,  then  ? 

However,  the  carriage  came  up,  and  no  further 
tete-db-tete  could  well  occur  before  their  arrival  at 
the  house,  where  there  was  abundant  company,  to 
whom  Gwendolen,  clad  in  riding-dress,  with  her 
hat  laid  aside,  clad  also  in  the  repute  of  being 
chosen  by  Mr  Grandcourt,  was  naturally  a  centre 
of  observation;  and  since  the  objectionable  Mr 
Lush  was  not  there  to  look  at  her,  this  stimulus 
of  admiring  attention  heightened  her  spirits,  and 
dispersed,  for  the  time,  the  uneasy  consciousness 
of  divided  impulses  which  threatened  her  with 
repentance  of  her  own  acts.  Whether  Grand- 
court  had  been  offended  or  not  there  was  no  judg- 
ing :  his  manners  were  unchanged,  but  Gwen- 
dolen's acuteness  had  not  gone  deeper  than  to 
discern  that  his  manners  were  no  clue  for  her, 
and  because  these  were  unchanged  she  was  not 
the  less  afraid  of  him. 

She  had  not  been  at  Diplow  before  except  to 


dine;  and  since  certain  points  of  view  from  the 
windows  and  the  garden  were  worth  showing, 
Lady  Flora  HoUis  proposed  after  luncheon,  when 
some  of  the  guests  had  dispersed,  and  the  sun  was 
sloping  towards  four  o'clock,  that  the  remaining 
party  should  make  a  little  exploration.  Here 
came  frequent  opportunities  when  Grandcourt 
might  have  retained  Gwendolen  apart  and  have 
spoken  to  her  unheard.  But  no !  He  indeed 
spoke  to  no  one  else,  but  what  he  said  was  no- 
thing more  eager  or  intimate  than  it  had  been  in 
their  first  interview.  He  looked  at  her  not  less 
than  usual ;  and  some  of  her  defiant  spirit  having 
come  back,  she  looked  full  at  him  in  return,  not 
caring — rather  preferring — that  his  eyes  had  no 
expression  in  them. 

But  at  last  it  seemed  as  if  he  entertained  some 
contrivance.  After  they  had  nearly  made  the 
tour  of  the  grounds,  the  whole  party  paused  by 
the  pool  to  be  amused  with  Fetch's  accomplish- 
ment of  bringing  a  water-lily  to  the  bank  like 
Cowper's  spaniel  Beau,  and  having  been  disap- 
pointed in  his  first  attempt  insisted  on  his  try- 
ing again. 

Here  Grandcourt,  who  stood  with  Gwendolen 
outside  the  group,  turned  deliberately,  and  fix- 
ing his  eyes  on  a  knoll  planted  with  American 


shrubs,  and  having  a  winding  path  up  it,  said 
languidly — 

"  This  is  a  bore.     Shall  we  go  up  there  ?  " 

"  Oh,  certainly — since  we  are  exploring,"  said 
Gwendolen.  She  was  rather  pleased,  and  yet 

The  path  was  too  narrow  for  him  to  offer  his 
arm,  and  they  walked  up  in  silence.  When  they 
were  on  the  bit  of  platform  at  the  summit  Grand- 
court  said — 

"  There  is  nothing  to  be  seen  here :  the  thing 
was  not  worth  climbing." 

How  was  it  that  Gwendolen  did  not  laugh? 
She  was  perfectly  silent,  holding  up  the  folds  of 
her  robe  like  a  statue,  and  giving  a  harder  grasp 
to  the  handle  of  her  whip,  which  she  had  snatched 
up  automatically  with  her  hat  when  they  had  first 
set  off. 

"  What  sort  of  place  do  you  like  ? "  said  Grand- 

"  Different  places  are  agreeable  in  their  way. 
On  the  whole,  I  think,  I  prefer  places  that  are 
open  and  cheerful.  I  am  not  fond  of  anything 

"  Your  place  at  Offendene  is  too  sombre." 

"  It  is,  rather." 

"  You  will  not  remain  there  long,  I  hope." 
VOL.  I.  Q 


"  Oh  yes,  I  think  so.  Mamma  likes  to  be  near 
her  sister." 

Silence  for  a  short  space. 

"  It  is  not  to  he  supposed  that  you  will  always 
live  there,  though  Mrs  Davilow  may." 

"  I  don't  know.  We  women  can't  go  in  search 
of  adventures — to  find  out  the  North- West  Passage 
or  the  source  of  the  Mle,  or  to  hunt  tigers  in  the 
East.  We  must  stay  where  we  grow,  or  where 
the  gardeners  like  to  transplant  us.  We  are 
brought  up  like  the  flowers,  to  look  as  pretty  as 
we  can,  and  be  dull  without  complaining.  That 
is  my  notion  about  the  plants :  they  are  often 
bored,  and  that  is  the  reason  why  some  of  them 
have  got  poisonous.  What  do  you  think?"  Gwen- 
dolen had  run  on  rather  nervously,  lightly  whip- 
ping the  rhododendron  bush  in  front  of  her. 

"  I  quite  agree.  Most  things  are  bores,"  said 
Grandcourt,  his  mind  having  been  pushed  into 
an  easy  current,  away  from  its  intended  track. 
But  after  a  moment's  pause  he  continued  in  his 
broken,  refined  drawl — 

"  But  a  woman  can  be  married." 

"  Some  women  can." 

"You  certainly,  unless  you  are  obstinately 

"  I  am  not  sure  that  I  am  not  both  cruel  and 


obstinate."  Here  Gwendolen  suddenly  turned  her 
head  and  looked  full  at  Grandcourt,  whose  eyes  she 
had  felt  to  be  upon  her  throughout  their  conver- 
sation. She  was  wondering  what  the  effect  of 
looking  at  him  would  be  on  herself  rather  than 
on  him. 

He  stood  perfectly  still,  half  a  yard  or  more 
away  from  her ;  and  it  flashed  through  her 
thought  that  a  sort  of  lotos-eater's  stupor  had  be- 
gun in  him  and  was  taking  possession  of  her. 
Then  he  said — 

"Are  you  as  uncertain  about  yourself  as  you 
make  others  about  you  ? " 

"I  am  quite  uncertain  about  myself;  I  don't 
know  how  uncertain  others  may  be." 

"  And  you  wish  them  to  understand  that  you 
don't  care?"  said  Grandcourt,  with  a  touch  of 
new  hardness  in  his  tone. 

"  I  did  not  say  that,"  Gwendolen  replied,  hesi- 
tatingly, and  turning  her  eyes  away  whipped  the 
rhododendron  bush  again.  She  wished  she  were  on 
horseback  that  she  might  set  off  on  a  canter.  It 
was  impossible  to  set  off  running  down  the  knoll. 

"  You  do  care,  then,"  said  Grandcourt,  not  more 
quickly,  but  with  a  softened  drawl. 

"  Ha !  my  whip !  '*  said  Gwendolen,  in  a  little 
scream  of  distress.     She  had  let  it  go  —  what 


could  be  more  natural  in  a  slight  agitation  ? — and 
— but  this  seemed  less  natural  in  a  gold-handled 
whip  which  had  been  left  altogether  to  itself — it 
had  gone  with  some  force  over  the  immediate 
shrubs,  and  had  lodged  itself  in  the  branches  of 
an  azalea  half-way  down  the  knoll.  She  could 
run  down  now,  laughing  prettily,  and  Grandcourt 
was  obliged  to  follow;  but  she  was  beforehand 
with  him  in  rescuing  the  whip,  and  continued  on 
her  way  to  the  level  ground,  when  she  paused 
and  looked  at  Grandcourt  with  an  exasperating 
brightness  in  her  glance  and  a  heightened  colour, 
as  if  she  had  carried  a  triumph,  and  these  indica- 
tions were  still  noticeable  to  Mrs  Davilow  when 
Gwendolen  and  Grandcourt  joined  the  rest  of  the 

"  It  is  all  coquetting,"  thought  Grandcourt ; 
"  the  next  time  I  beckon  she  will  come  down." 

It  seemed  to  him  likely  that  this  final  beckon- 
ing might  happen  the  very  next  day,  when  there 
was  to  be  a  picnic  archery  meeting  in  Cardell 
Chase,  according  to  the  plan  projected  on  the 
evening  of  the  ball. 

Even  in  Gwendolen's  mind  that  result  was  one 
of  two  likelihoods  that  presented  themselves 
alternately,  one  of  two  decisions  towards  which 
she  was  being  precipitated,  as  if  they  were  two 


sides  of  a  boundary-line,  and  she  did  not  know  on 
which  she  should  fall.  This  subjection  to  a  pos- 
sible self,  a  self  not  to  be  absolutely  predicted 
about,  caused  her  some  astonishment  and  terror: 
her  favourite  key  of  life — doing  as  she  liked — 
seemed  to  fail  her,  and  she  could  not  foresee  what 
at  a  given  moment  she  might  like  to  do.  The 
prospect  of  marrying  Grandcourt  really  seemed 
more  attractive  to  her  than  she  had  believed  be- 
forehand that  any  marriage  could  be:  the  dig- 
nities, the  luxuries,  the  power  of  doing  a  great 
deal  of  what  she  liked  to  do,  which  had  now  come 
close  to  her,  and  within  her  choice  to  secure  or  to 
lose,  took  hold  of  her  nature  as  if  it  had  been  the 
strong  odour  of  what  she  had  only  imagined  and 
longed  for  before.  And  Grandcourt  himself?  He 
seemed  as  little  of  a  flaw  in  his  fortunes  as  a 
lover  and  husband  could  possibly  be.  Gwendolen 
wished  to  mount  the  chariot  and  drive  the  plung- 
ing horses  herself,  with  a  spouse  by  her  side  who 
would  fold  his  arms  and  give  her  his  countenance 
without  looking  ridiculous.  Certainly,  with  all  her 
perspicacity,  and  all  the  reading  which  seemed  to 
her  mamma  dangerously  instructive,  her  judg- 
ment was  consciously  a  little  at  fault  before 
Grandcourt.  He  was  adorably  quiet  and  free 
from  absurdities — he  could  be  a  husband  en  suite 


with  the  best  appearance  a  woman  could  make. 
But  what  else  was  he  ?  He  had  been  everywhere, 
and  seen  everything.  That  was  desirable,  and 
especially  gratifying  .as  a  preamble  to  his  supreme 
preference  for  Gwendolen  Harleth.  He  did  not 
appear  to  enjoy  anything  much.  That  was  not 
necessary :  and  the  less  he  had  of  particular  tastes 
or  desires,  the  more  freedom  his  wife  was  likely 
to  have  in  following  hers.  Gwendolen  conceived 
that  after  marriage  she  would  most  probably  be 
able  to  manage  him  thoroughly. 

How  was  it  that  he  caused  her  unusual  con- 
straint now  ? — that  she  was  less  daring  and  play- 
ful in  her  talk  with  him  than  with  any  other  ad- 
mirer she  had  known  ?  That  absence  of  demon- 
strativeness  which  she  was  glad  of,  acted  as  a 
charm  in  more  senses  than  one,  and  was  slightly 
benumbing.  Grandcourt  after  all  was  formid- 
able— a  handsome  lizard  of  a  hitherto  unknown 
species,  not  of  the  lively,  darting  kind.  But 
Gwendolen  knew  hardly  anything  about  lizards, 
and  ignorance  gives  one  a  large  range  of  probabili- 
ties. This  splendid  specimen  was  probably  gentle, 
suitable  as  a  boudoir  pet :  what  may  not  a  lizard 
be,  if  you  know  nothing  to  the  contrary  ?  Her 
acquaintance  with  Grandcourt  was  such  that  no 
accomplishment  suddenly  revealed  in  him  would 


have  surprised  her.  Aud  he  was  so  little  sugges- 
tive of  drama,  that  it  hardly  occurred  to  her  to 
think  with  any  detail  how  his  life  of  thirty-six 
years  had  been  passed :  in  general,  she  imagined 
him  always  cold  and  dignified,  not  likely  ever  to 
have  committed  himself  He  had  hunted  the 
tiger — had  he  ever  been  in  love,  or  made  love  ? 
The  one  experience  and  the  other  seemed  alike 
remote  in  Gwendolen's  fancy  from  the  Mr  Grand- 
court  who  had  come  to  Diplow  in  order  apparently 
to  make  a  chief  epoch  in  her  destiny— perhaps  by 
introducing  her  to  that  state  of  marriage  which  she 
had  resolved  to  make  a  state  of  greater  freedom 
than  her  girlhood.  And  on  the  whole  she  wished 
to  marry  him  ;  he  suited  her  purpose ;  her  prevail- 
ing, deliberate  intention  was,  to  accept  him. 

But  was  she  going  to  fulfil  her  deliberate  in- 
tention ?  She  began  to  be  afraid  of  herself,  and 
to  find  out  a  certain  difficulty  in  doing  as  she 
liked.  Already  her  assertion  of  independence  in 
evading  his  advances  had  been  carried  fartlwir 
than  was  necessary,  and  she  was  thinking  with 
some  anxiety  what  she  might  do  on  the  next 

Seated  according  to  her  habit  with  her  back  to 
the  horses  on  their  drive  homewards,  she  was 
completely  under  the  observation  of  her  mamma, 


who  took  the  excitement  and  changefulness  in  the 
expression  of  her  eyes,  her  unwonted  absence  of 
mind  and  total  silence,  as  unmistakable  signs 
that  something  unprecedented  had  occurred  be- 
tween her  and  Grandcourt.  Mrs  Davilow's  un- 
easiness determined  her  to  risk  some  speech  on  the 
subject :  the  Gascoignes  were  to  dine  at  Offendene, 
and  in  what  had  occurred  this  morning  there  might 
be  some  reason  for  consulting  the  Eector ;  not 
that  she  expected  him  any  more  than  herself  to 
influence  Gwendolen,  but  that  her  anxious  mind 
wanted  to  be  disburthened. 

"  Something  has  happened,  dear  ?  "  she  began, 
in  a  tender  tone  of  question. 

Gwendolen  looked  round,  and  seeming  to  be 
roused  to  the  consciousness  of  her  physical  self, 
took  off  her  gloves  and  then  her  hat,  that  the  soft 
breeze  might  blow  on  her  head.  They  were  in  a 
retired  bit  of  the  road,  where  the  long  afternoon 
shadows  from  the  bordering  trees  fell  across  it,  and 
no  observers  were  within  sight.  Her  eyes  con- 
tinued to  meet  her  mother's,  but  she  did  not  speak. 

"Mr  Grandcourt  has  been  saying  something? 
— Tell  me,  dear."  The  last  words  were  uttered 

"What  am  I  to  tell  you,  mamma?"  was  the 
perverse  answer. 


"  I  am  sure  something  has  agitated  you.  You 
ought  to  confide  in  me,  Gwen.  You  ought  not  to 
leave  me  in  doubt  and  anxiety."  Mrs  Davilow's 
eyes  filled  with  tears. 

"  Mamma,  dear,  please  don't  be  miserable,"  said 
Gwendolen,  with  pettish  remonstrance.  "  It  only 
makes  me  more  so.     I  am  in  doubt  myself." 

"About  Mr  Grandcourt's  intentions?"  said 
Mrs  Dayilow,  gathering  determination  from  her 

"  No ;  not  at  all,"  said  Gwendolen,  with  some 
curtness,  and  a  pretty  little  toss  of  the  head  as 
she  put  on  her  hat  again. 

"  About  whether  you  will  accept  him,  then  ? " 

"  Precisely." 

"  Have  you  given  him  a  doubtful  answer  ?  " 

"  I  have  given  him  no  answer  at  all." 

"He  has  spoken  so  that  you  could  not  misunder- 
stand him  ? " 

"  As  far  as  I  would  let  him  speak." 

"  You  expect  him  to  persevere  ? "  Mrs  Davilow 
put  this  question  rather  anxiously,  and  receiving 
no  answer,  asked  another.  "You  don't  consider 
that  you  have  discouraged  him  ? " 

"  I  daresay  not." 

"I  thought  you  liked  him,  dear,"  said  Mrs 
Davilow,  timidly. 


*'  So  I  do,  mamma,  as  liking  goes.  There  is  less 
to  dislike  about  Mm  than  about  most  men.  He 
is  quiet  and  distingu4!'  Gwendolen  so  far  spoke 
with  a  pouting  sort  of  gravity  ;  but  suddenly  she 
recovered  some  of  her  mischievousness,  and  her 
face  broke  into  a  smile  as  she  added — "  Indeed  he 
has  all  the  qualities  that  would  make  a  husband 
tolerable  —  battlement,  veranda,  stables,  &c.,  no 
grins  and  no  glass  in  his  eye." 

"Do  be  serious  with  me  for  a  moment,  dear. 
Am  I  to  understand  that  you  mean  to  accept 
him?"    . 

"  Oh  pray,  mamma,  leave  me  to  myself,"  said 
Gwendolen,  with  a  pettish  distress  in  her  voice. 

And  Mrs  Davilow  said  no  more. 

When  they  got  home  Gwendolen  declared  that 
she  would  not  dine.  She  was  tired,  and  would 
come  down  in  the  evening  after  she  had  taken 
some  rest.  The  probability  that  her  uncle  would 
hear  what  had  passed  did  not  trouble  her.  She 
was  convinced  that  whatever  he  might  say  would 
be  on  the  side  of  her  accepting  Grandcourt,  and 
she  wished  to  accept  him  if  she  could.  At  this 
moment  she  would  willingly  have  had  weights 
hung  on  her  own  caprice. 

Mr  Gascoigne  did  hear — not  Gwendolen's 
answers  repeated  verbatim,  but  a  softened  general- 


ised  account  of  them.  The  mother  conveyed  as 
vaguely  as  the  keen  Eector's  questions  would  let 
her  the  impression  that  Gwendolen  was  in  some 
uncertainty  ahout  her  own  mind,  but  inclined  on 
the  whole  to  acceptance.  The  result  was  that  the 
uncle  felt  himself  called  on  to  interfere:  he  did 
not  conceive  that  he  should  do  his  duty  in  with- 
holding direction  from  his  niece  in  a  momentous 
crisis  of  this  kind.  Mrs  Davilow  ventured  a  hesi- 
tating opinion  that  perhaps  it  would  be  safer  to 
say  nothing — Gwendolen  was  so  sensitive  (she  did 
not  like  to  say  wilful).  But  the  Eector's  was  a 
firm  mind,  grasping  its  first  judgments  tenaciously 
and  acting  on  them  promptly,  whence  counter- 
judgments  were  no  more  for  him  than  shadows 
fleeting  across  the  soUd  ground  to  which  he  ad- 
justed himself. 

This  match  with  Grandcourt  presented  itself  to 
him  as  a  sort  of  public  affair ;  perhaps  there  were 
ways  in  which  it  might  even  strengthen  the  Estab- 
lishment. To  the  Eector,  whose  father  (nobody 
would  have  suspected  it,  and  nobody  was  told) 
had  risen  to  be  a  provincial  corn-dealer,  aristocra- 
tic heirship  resembled  regal  heirship  in  excepting 
its  possessor  from  the  ordinary  standard  of  moral 
judgments.  Grandcourt,  the  almost  certain  baro- 
net, the  probable  peer,  was  to  be  ranged  with  pub- 


lie  personages,  and  was  a  match  to  be  accepted  on 
broad  general  grounds  national  and  ecclesiastical. 
Such  public  personages,  it  is  true,  are  often  in  the 
nature  of  giants  which  an  ancient  community  may- 
have  felt  pride  and  safety  in  possessing,  though, 
regarded  privately,  these  born  eminences  must 
often  have  been  inconvenient  and  even  noisome. 
But  of  the  future  husband  personally  Mr  Gas- 
coigne  was  disposed  to  think  the  best.  Gossip  is 
a  sort  of  smoke  that  comes  from  the  dirty  tobacco- 
pipes  of  those  who  diffuse  it :  it  proves  nothing 
but  the  bad  taste  of  the  smoker.  But  if  Grand- 
court  had  really  made  any  deeper  or  more  unfor- 
tunate experiments  in  folly  than  were  common  in 
young  men  of  high  prospects,  he  was  of  an  age  to 
have  finished  them.  All  accounts  can  be  suitably 
wound  up  when  a  man  has  not  ruined  himself, 
and  the  expense  may  be  taken  as  an  insurance 
against  future  error.  This  was  the  view  of  prac- 
tical wisdom  ;  with  reference  to  higher  views,  re- 
pentance had  a  supreme  moral  and  religious  value. 
There  was  every  reason  to  believe  that  a  woman 
of  well-regulated  mind  would  be  happy  with 

It  was  no  surprise  to  Gwendolen  on  coming 
down  to  tea  to  be  told  that  her  uncle  wished  to 
see  her  in  the  dining-room.     He  threw  aside  the 


paper  as  she  entered  and  greeted  her  with  his 
usual  kindness.  As  his  wife  had  remarked,  he 
always  "  made  much  "  of  Gwendolen,  and  her  im- 
portance had  risen  of  late.  "  My  dear,"  he  said,  iu 
a  fatherly  way,  moving  a  chair  for  her  as  he  held 
her  hand,  "  I  want  to  speak  to  you  on  a  subject 
which  is  more  momentous  than  any  other  with 
regard  to  your  welfare.  You  will  guess  what  I 
mean.  But  I  shall  speak  to  you  with  perfect 
directness:  in  such  matters  I  consider  myself 
bound  to  act  as  your  father.  You  have  no  objec- 
tion, I  hope  ? " 

"  Oh  dear  no,  uncle.  You  have  always  been  very 
kind  to  me,"  said  Gwendolen,  frankly.  This  even- 
ing she  was  willing,  if  it  were  possible,  to  be  a 
little  fortified  against  her  troublesome  seK,  and 
her  resistant  temper  was  in  abeyance.  The  Eec- 
tor's  mode  of  speech  always  conveyed  a  thrill  of 
authority,  as  of  a  word  of  command  :  it  seemed  to 
take  for  granted  that  there  could  be  no  wavering 
in  the  audience,  and  that  every  one  was  going  to 
be  rationally  obedient. 

"  It  is  naturally  a  satisfaction  to  me  that  the 
prospect  of  a  marriage  for  you— advantageous  in 
the  highest  degree — has  presented  itself  so  early. 
I  do  not  know  exactly  what  has  passed  between 
you  and  Mr  Grandcourt,  but  I  presume  there  can 


be  little  doubt,  from  the  way  in  which  he  has  dis- 
tinguished you,  that  he  desires  to  make  you  his 

Gwendolen  did  not  speak  immediately,  and  her 
uncle  said  with  more  emphasis — 

"Have  you  any  doubt  of  that  yourself,  my 

"  I  suppose  that  is  what  he  has  been  thinking 
of  But  he  may  have  changed  his  mind  to-mor- 
row," said  Gwendolen. 

"Why  to-morrow?  Has  he  made  advances 
which  you  have  discouraged  ? " 

"  I  think  he  meant — he  began  to  make  advances 
— but  I  did  not  encourage  them.  I  turned  the 

"Will  you  confide  in  me  so  far  as  to  tell  me 
your  reasons  ? " 

"  I  am  not  sure  that  I  had  any  reasons,  uncle." 
Gwendolen  laughed  rather  artificially. 

"You  are  quite  capable  of  reflecting,  Gwendo- 
len. You  are  aware  that  this  is  not  a  trivial  oc- 
casion, and  it  concerns  your  establishment  for  life 
under  circumstances  which  may  not  occur  again. 
You  have  a  duty  here  both  to  yourself  and  your 
family.  I  wish  to  understand  whether  you  have 
any  ground  for  hesitating  as  to  your  acceptance  of 
Mr  Grandcourt." 


"  I  suppose  I  hesitate  without  grounds."  Gwen- 
dolen spoke  rather  poutingly,  and  her  uncle  grew 

"  Is  he  disagreeable  to  you  personally  ? " 

"  No." 

"  Have  you  heard  anything  of  him  which  has 
affected  you  disagreeably  ? "  The  Eector  thought 
it  impossible  that  Gwendolen  could  have  heard 
the  gossip  he  had  heard,  but  in  any  case  he  must 
endeavour  to  put  all  things  in  the  right  light  for 

"  I  have  heard  nothing  about  him  except  that 
he  is  a  great  match,"  said  Gwendolen,  with  some 
sauciness ;  "  and  that  affects  me  very  agreeably." 

"Then,  my  dear  Gwendolen,  I  have  nothing 
further  to  say  than  this  :  you  hold  your  fortune  in 
your  own  hands — a  fortune  such  as  rarely  happens 
to  a  girl  in  your  circumstances — a  fortune  in  fact 
which  almost  takes  the  question  out  of  the  range 
of  mere  personal  feeling,  and  makes  your  accept- 
ance of  it  a  duty.  If  Providence  offers  you  power 
and  position — especially  when  unclogged  by  any 
conditions  that  are  repugnant  to  you — your  course 
is  one  of  responsibility,  into  which  caprice  must 
not  enter.  A  man  does  not  like  to  have  his 
attachment  trifled  with :  he  may  not  be  at  once 
repelled — these  things  are  matters  of  individual 


disposition.  But  the  trifling  may  be  carried  too 
far.  And  I  must  point  out  to  you  that  in  case 
Mr  Grandcourt  were  repelled  without  your  having 
refused  him — without  your  having  intended  ulti- 
mately to  refuse  him,  your  situation  would  be  a 
humiliating  and  painful  one.  I,  for  my  part, 
should  regard  you  with  severe  disapprobation,  as 
the  victim  of  nothing  else  than  your  own  coquetry 
and  folly." 

Gwendolen  became  pallid  as  she  listened  to 
this  admonitory  speech.  The  ideas  it  raised  had 
the  force  of  sensations.  Her  resistant  courage 
would  not  help  her  here,  because  her  uncle  was 
not  urging  her  against  her  own  resolve ;  he  was 
pressing  upon  her  the  motives  of  dread  which  she 
already  felt ;  he  was  making  her  more  conscious 
of  the  risks  that  lay  within  herself.  She  was 
silent,  and  the  Rector  observed  that  he  had  pro- 
duced some  strong  effect. 

"  I  mean  this  in  kindness,  my  dear."  His  tone 
had  softened. 

"  I  am  aware  of  that,  uncle,"  said  Gwendolen, 
rising  and  shaking  her  head  back,  as  if  to  rouse 
herself  out  of  painful  passivity.  "  I  am  not 
foolish.  I  know  that  I  must  be  married  some 
time — before  it  is  too  late.  And  I  don't  see  how 
I  could  do  better  than  marry  Mr  Grandcourt.     I 


mean  to  accept  him,  if  possible."  She  felt  as  if 
she  were  reinforcing  herself  by  speaking  with  this 
decisiveness  to  her  uncle. 

But  the  Kector  was  a  little  startled  by  so  bare 
a  version  of  his  own  meaning  from  those  youog 
lips.  He  wished  that  in  her  mind  his  advice 
should  be  taken  in  an  infusion  of  sentiments 
proper  to  a  girl,  and  such  as  are  presupposed  in 
the  advice  of  a  clergyman,  although  he  may  not 
consider  them  always  appropriate  to  be  put  for- 
ward. He  wished  his  niece  parks,  carriages,  a 
title — everything  that  would  make  this  world  a 
pleasant  abode ;  but  he  wished  her  not  to  be  cyni- 
cal— to  be,  on  the  contrary,  religiously  dutiful, 
and  have  warm  domestic  affections. 

"  My  dear  Gwendolen,"  he  said,  rising  also,  and 
speaking  with  benignant  gravity,  "I  trust  that 
you  will  find  in  marriage  a  new  fountain  of  duty 
and  affection.  Marriage  is  the  only  true  and 
satisfactory  sphere  of  a  woman,  and  if  your  mar- 
riage with  Mr  Grandcourt  should  be  happily  de- 
cided upon,  you  will  have  probably  an  increasing 
power,  both  of  rank  and  wealth,  which  may  be 
used  for  the  benefit  of  others.  These  considera- 
tions are  something  higher  than  romance.  You 
are  fitted  by  natural  gifts  for  a  position  which» 
considering  your  birth  and  early  prospects,  could 

VOL.  I.  R 


hardly  be  looked  forward  to  as  in  the  ordinary- 
course  of  things  ;  and  I  trust  that  you  will  grace 
it  not  only  by  those  personal  gifts,  but  by  a  good 
and  consistent  life." 

"I  hope  mamma  will  be  the  happier,"  said 
Gwendolen,  in  a  more  cheerful  way,  lifting  her 
hands  backward  to  her  neck  and  moving  towards 
the  door.  She  wanted  to  waive  those  higher  con- 

Mr  Gascoigne  felt  that  he  had  come  to  a  satis- 
factory understanding  with  his  niece,  and  had 
furthered  her  happy  settlement  in  life  by  further- 
ing her  engagement  to  Grandcourt.  Meanwhile 
there  was  another  person  to  whom  the  contempla- 
tion of  that  issue  had  been  a  motive  for  some 
activity,  and  who  believed  that  he  too  on  this 
particular  day  had  done  something  towards  bring- 
ing about  a  favourable  decision  in  his  sense — 
which  happened  to  be  the  reverse  of  the  Eector's. 

Mr  Lush's  absence  from  Diplow  during  Gwen- 
dolen's visit  had  been  due  not  to  any  fear  on  his 
part  of  meeting  that  supercilious  young  lady,  or 
of  being  abashed  by  her  frank  dislike,  but  to  an 
engagement  from  which  he  expected  important 
consequences.  He  was  gone  in  fact  to  the  Wan- 
cester  Station  to  meet  a  lady  accompanied  by  a 
maid  and  two  children,  whom  he  put  into  a  fly. 


and  afterwards  followed  to  the  hotel  of  the  Golden 
Keys  in  that  town.  An  impressive  woman,  whom 
many  would  turn  to  look  at  again  in  passing ;  her 
figure  was  slim  and  sufficiently  tall,  her  face  rather 
emaciated,  so  that  its  sculpturesque  beauty  was  the 
more  pronounced,  her  crisp  hair  perfectly  black, 
and  her  large  anxious  eyes  also  what  we  call 
black.  Her  dress  was  soberly  correct,  her  age 
perhaps  physically  more  advanced  than  the  num- 
ber of  years  would  imply,  but  hardly  less  than 
seven-and-thirty.  An  uneasy-looking  woman :  her 
glance  seemed  to  presuppose  that  people  and 
things  were  going  to  be  unfavourable  to  her,  while 
she  was  nevertheless  ready  to  meet  them  with 
resolution.  The  children  were  lovely  —  a  dark- 
haired  girl  of  six  or  more,  a  fairer  boy  of  five. 
When  Lush  incautiously  expressed  some  surprise 
at  her  having  brought  the  children,  she  said  with 
a  sharp-edged  intonation — 

"Did  you  suppose  I  should  come  wandering 
about  here  by  myself?  Why  should  I  not  bring 
aU  four  if  I  liked  ?^' 

"  Oh  certainly,"  said  Lush,  with  his  usual  fluent 

He  stayed  an  hour  or  so  in  conference  with  her, 
and  rode  back  to  Diplow  in  a  state  of  mind  that 
was  at  once  hopeful  and  busily  anxious  as  to  the 


execution  of  the  little  plan  on  whicli  his  hope- 
fulness was  based.  Grandcourt's  marriage  to 
Gwendolen  Harleth  would  not,  he  believed,  be 
much  of  a  good  to  either  of  them,  and  it  would 
plainly  be  fraught  with  disagreeables  to  himself. 
But  now  he  felt  confident  enough  to  say  inwardly, 
"  I  will  take  odds  that  the  marriage  will  never 



I  will  not  clothe  myself  in  wreek — wear  gems 
Sawed  from  cramped  flnger-bones  of  women  drowned ; 
Feel  chilly  vaporous  hands  of  ireful  ghosts 
Clutching  my  necklace  ;  trick  my  maiden  breast 
With  orphans'  heritage.    Let  your  dead  love 
Many  its  dead. 

Gwendolen  looked  lovely  and  vigorous  as  a 
tall,  newly-opened  lily  the  next  morning ;  there 
was  a  reaction  of  young  energy  in  her,  and  yes- 
terday's self-distrust  seemed  no  more  than  the 
transient  shiver  on  the  surface  of  a  full  stream. 
The  roving  archery  match  in  Cardell  Chase  was  a 
delightful  prospect  for  the  sport's  sake:  she  felt  her- 
self beforehand  moving  about  like  a  wood-nymph 
under  the  beeches  (in  appreciative  company), 
and  the  imagined  scene  lent  a  charm  to  further 
advances  on  the  part  of  Grandcourt — not  an  im- 
passioned lyi'ical  Daphnis  for  the  wood-nymph, 
certainly :  but  so  much  the  better.  To-day  Gwen- 
dolen foresaw  him  making  slow  conversational 
approaches  to  a  declaration,  and  foresaw  herself 


awaiting  and  encouraging  it  according  to  the 
rational  conclusion  which  she  had  expressed  to 
her  uncle. 

When  she  came  down  to  breakfast  (after  every 
one  had  left  the  table  except  Mrs  Davilow)  there 
were  letters  on  her  plate.  One  of  them  she  read 
with  a  gathering  smile,  and  then  handed  it  to  her 
mamma,  who,  on  returning  it,  smiled  also,  find- 
ing new  cheerfulness  in  the  good  spirits  her 
daughter  had  shown  ever  since  waking,  and  said — 

"  You  don't  feel  inclined  to  go  a  thousand  miles 

"  Not  exactly  so  far." 

"It  was  a  sad  omission  not  to  have  written 
again  before  this.  Can't  you  write  now — before 
we  set  out  this  morning  ?" 

"It  is  not  so  pressing.  To-morrow  will  do. 
You  see  they  leave  town  to-day.  I  must  write  to 
Dover.     They  will  be  there  till  Monday." 

"  Shall  I  write  for  you,  dear — if  it  teases  you  V 

Gwendolen  did  not  speak  immediately,  but 
after  sipping  her  coffee  answered  brusquely,  "  Oh 
no,  let  it  be ;  I  will  write  to  -  morrow."  Then 
feeling  a  touch  of  compunction,  she  looked  up  and 
said  with  playful  tenderness,  "  Dear,  old,  beautiful 
mamma ! " 

"  Old,  child,  truly." 


"  Please  don't,  mamma !  I  meant  old  for 
darling.  You  are  hardly  twenty-five  years  older 
than  I  am.  When  you  talk  in  that  way  my  life 
shrivels  up  before  me." 

"One  can  have  a  great  deal  of  happiness  in 
twenty-five  years,  my  dear." 

"  I  must  lose  no  time  in  beginning,"  said  Gwen- 
dolen, merrily.  "The  sooner  I  get  my  palaces 
and  coaches,  the  better." 

"  And  a  good  husband  who  adores  you,  Gwen," 
said  Mrs  Davilow,  encouragingly. 

Gwendolen  put  out  her  lips  saucily  and  said 

It  was  a  slight  drawback  on  her  pleasure  in 
starting  that  the  Eector  was  detained  by  magis- 
trate's business  and  would  probably  not  be  able  to 
get  to  Cardell  Chase  at  all  that  day.  She  cared 
little  that  Mrs  Gascoigne  and  Anna  chose  not  to 
go  without  him,  but  her  uncle's  presence  would 
have  seemed  to  make  it  a  matter  of  course  that 
the  decision  taken  would  be  acted  on.  For  deci- 
sion in  itself  began  to  be  formidable.  Having 
come  close  to  accepting  Grandcourt,  Gwendolen 
felt  this  lot  of  unhoped-for  fulness  rounding  itself 
too  definitely :  when  we  take  to  wishing  a  great 
deal  for  ourselves,  whatever  we  get  soon  turns 
into  mere  limitation   and  exclusion.     Still  there 


was  the  reassuring  thought  that  marriage  would 
be  the  gate  into  a  larger  freedom. 

The  place  of  meeting  was  a  grassy  spot  called 
Green  Arbour,  where  a  bit  of  hanging  wood  made 
a  sheltering  amphitheatre.  It  was  here  that  the 
coachful  of  servants  with  provisions  had  to  prepare 
the  picnic  meal;  and  a  warden  of  the  Chase  was  to 
guide  the  roving  archers  so  as  to  keep  them  within 
the  due  distance  from  this  centre,  and  hinder  them 
from  wandering  beyond  the  limit  which  had  been 
fixed  on — a  curve  that  might  be  drawn  through 
certain  well-known  points,  such  as  the  Double 
Oak,  the  Whispering  Stones,  and  the  High  Cross. 
The  plan  was,  to  take  only  a  preliminary  stroll 
before  luncheon,  keeping  the  main  roving  expedi- 
tion for  the  more  exquisite  lights  of  the  afternoon. 
The  muster  was  rapid  enough  to  save  every  one 
from  dull  moments  of  waiting,  and  when  the 
groups  began  to  scatter  themselves  through  the 
light  and  shadow  made  here  by  closely  neigh- 
bouring beeches  and  there  by  rarer  oaks,  one  may 
suppose  that  a  painter  would  have  been  glad  to 
look  on.  This  roving  archery  was  far  prettier 
than  the  stationary  game,  but  success  in  shooting 
at  variable  marks  was  less  favoured  by  practice, 
and  the  hits  were  distributed  among  the  volunteer 
archers   otherwise  than    they  would  have   been 


in  target-shootiug.  From  this  cause  perhaps,  as 
well  as  from  the  twofold  distraction  of  being 
preoccupied  and  wishing  not  to  betray  her  pre- 
occupation, Gwendolen  did  not  greatly  distinguish 
herself  in  these  first  experiments,  unless  it  were 
by  the  lively  grace  with  which  she  took  her 
comparative  failure.  She  was  in  her  white  and 
green  as  on  the  day  of  the  former  archery  meeting, 
when  it  made  an  epoch  for  her  that  she  was 
introduced  to  Grandcourt ;  he  was  continually  by 
her  side  now,  yet  it  would  have  been  hard  to 
tell  from  mere  looks  and  manners  that  their  rela- 
tion to  each  other  had  at  all  changed  since  their 
first  conversation.  Still  there  were  other  grounds 
that  made  most  persons  conclude  them  to  be, 
if  not  engaged  already,  on  the  eve  of  being  so. 
And  she  believed  this  herself.  As  they  were  all  re- 
turning towards  Green  Arbour  in  divergent  groups, 
not  thinking  at  all  of  taking  aim  but  merely  chat- 
ting, words  passed  which  seemed  really  the  begin- 
ning of  that  end — the  beginning  of  her  acceptance. 
Grandcourt  said,  "Do  you  know  how  long  it  is 
since  I  first  saw  you  in  this  dress  ? " 

"The  archery  meeting  was  on  the  25th,  and 
this  is  the  13th,"  said  Gwendolen,  laughingly.  "  I 
am  not  good  at  calculating,  but  I  will  venture  to 
say  that  it  must  be  nearly  three  weeks." 


A  little  pause,  and  then  lie  said,  "  That  is  a 
great  loss  of  time." 

"  That  your  knowing  me  has  caused  you  ?  Pray 
don't  be  uncomplimentary :  I  don't  like  it/' 

Pause  again.  "  It  is  because  of  the  gain,  that  I 
feel  the  loss." 

Here  Gwendolen  herself  left  a  pause.  She  was 
thinking,  "  He  is  really  very  ingenious.  He  never 
speaks  stupidly."  Her  silence  was  so  unusual, 
that  it  seemed  the  strongest  of  favourable  answers, 
and  he  continued — 

"  The  gain  of  knowing  you  makes  me  feel  the 
time  I  lose  in  uncertainty.  Do  you  like  uncer- 

"  I  think  I  do,  rather,"  said  Gwendolen,  sud- 
denly beaming  on  him  with  a  playful  smile. 
"  There  is  more  in  it." 

Grandcourt  met  her  laughing  eyes  with  a  slow, 
steady  look  right  into  them,  which  seemed  like 
vision  in  the  abstract,  and  said,  "  Do  you  mean 
more  torment  for  me  ?" 

There  was  something  so  strange  to  Gwendolen 
in  this  moment  that  she  was  quite  shaken  out  of 
her  usual  self-consciousness.  Blushing  and  turn- 
ing away  her  eyes,  she  said,  "  No,  that  would 
make  me  sorry." 

Grandcourt  would  have  followed  up  this  answer, 


which  the  change  in  her  manner  made  apparently 
decisive  of  her  favourable  intention  ;  but  he  was 
not  in  any  way  overcome  so  as  to  be  unaware 
that  they  were  now,  within  sight  of  everybody, 
descending  the  slope  into  Green  Arbour,  and 
descending  it  at  an  ill-chosen  point  where  it  began 
to  be  inconveniently  steep.  This  was  a  reason  for 
offering  his  hand  in  the  literal  sense  to  help  her ; 
she  took  it,  and  they  came  down  in  silence,  much 
observed  by  those  already  on  the  level — among 
others  by  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  who  happened  to  be 
standing  with  Mrs  Davilow.  That  lady  had  now 
made  up  her  mind  that  Grandcourt's  merits  were 
not  such  as  would  have  induced  Catherine  to 
accept  him,  Catherine  having  so  high  a  standard 
as  to  have  refused  Lord  Slogan.  Hence  she  looked 
at  the  tenant  of  Diplow  with  dispassionate  eyes. 

"  Mr  Grandcourt  is  not  equal  as  a  man  to  his 
uncle.  Sir  Hugo  Mallinger — too  languid.  To  be 
sure,  Mr  Grandcourt  is  a  much  younger  man,  but 
I  shouldn't  wonder  if  Sir  Hugo  were  to  outlive 
him,  notwithstanding  the  difference  of  years.  It 
is  ill  calculating  •  on  successions,"  concluded  Mrs 
Arrowpoint,  rather  too  loudly. 

"  It  is  indeed,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  able  to  assent 
with  quiet  cheerfulness,  for  she  was  so  well  satis- 
fied with  the  actual  situation  of  affairs  that  her 


habitual  melancholy  in  their  general  unsatisfac- 
toriness  was  altogether  in  abeyance. 

I  am  not  concerned  to  tell  of  the  food  that  was 
eaten  in  that  green  refectory,  or  even  to  dwell  on 
the  glories  of  the  forest  scenery  that  spread  them- 
selves out  beyond  the  level  front  of  the  hollow ; 
being  just  now  bound  to  tell  a  story  of  life  at  a 
stage  when  the  blissful  beauty  of  earth  and  sky 
entered  only  by  narrow  and  oblique  inlets  into  the 
consciousness,  which  was  busy  with  a  small  social 
drama  almost  as  little  penetrated  by  a  feeling  of 
wider  relations  as  if  it  had  been  a  puppet-show. 
It  will  be  understood  that  the  food  and  champagne 
were  of  the  best — the  talk  and  laughter  too,  in  the 
sense  of  belonging  to  the  best  society,  where  no 
one  makes  an  invidious  display  of  anything  in 
particular,  and  the  advantages  of  the  world  are 
taken  with  that  high  -  bred  depreciation  which 
follows  from  being  accustomed  to  them.  Some  of 
the  gentlemen  strolled  a  little  and  indulged  in  a 
cigar,  there  being  a  sufficient  interval  before  four 
o'clock — the  time  for  beginning  to  rove  again. 
Among  these,  strange  to  say,  was  Grandcourt;  but 
not  Mr  Lush,  who  seemed  to  be  taking  his  plea- 
sure quite  generously  to-day  by  making  himself 
particularly  serviceable,  ordering  everything  for 
everybody,  and  by  this  activity  becoming  more 


than  ever  a  blot  on  the  scene  to  Gwendolen, 
though  he  kept  himself  amiably  aloof  from  her, 
and  never  even  looked  at  her  obviously.  When 
there  was  a  general  move  to  prepare  for  starting,  it 
appeared  that  the  bows  had  all  been  put  under  the 
charge  of  Lord  Brackenshaw's  valet,  and  Mr  Lush 
was  concerned  to  save  ladies  the  trouble  of  fetch- 
ing theirs  from  the  carriage  where  they  were  prop- 
ped. He  did  not  intend  to  bring  Gwendolen's, 
but  she,  fearful  lest  he  should  do  so,  hurried  to 
fetch  it  herself.  The  valet  seeing  her  approach  met 
her  with  it,  and  in  giving  it  into  her  hand  gave 
also  a  letter  addressed  to  her.  She  asked  no 
question  about  it,  perceived  at  a  glance  that  the 
address  was  in  a  lady's  handwriting  (of  the  deli- 
cate kind  which  used  to  be  esteemed  feminine 
before  the  present  uncial  period),  and  moving 
away  with  her  bow  in  her  hand,  saw  Mr  Lush 
coming  to  fetch  other  bows.  To  avoid  meeting 
him  she  turned  aside  and  walked  with  her  back 
towards  the  stand  of  carriages,  opening  the  letter. 
It  contained  these  words — 

"  If  Miss  Harleth  is  in  doubt  whether  she  should 
accept  Mr  Grandcourt,  let  her  hreah  from  her  party 
after  they  have  passed  the  Whispering  Stones  and 
return  to  that  spot.  She  will  then  hear  something  to 
decide  her,  hut  she  can  only  hear  it  hy  TceepiTig  this 

270  DANIEL  DERONDA.  "    ♦ 

letter  a  strict  secret  from  every  one.  If  she  does  not 
act  according  to  this  letter,  she  will  repent,  as  the 
woman  who  writes  it  has  repented.  The  secrecy 
Miss  Harleth  will  feel  herself  hound  in  honour  to 

Gwendolen  felt  an  inward  shock,  but  her  im- 
mediate thought  was,  "It  is  come  in  time."  It 
lay  in  her  youthfulness  that  she  was  absorbed  by 
the  idea  of  the  revelation  to  be  made,  and  had  not 
even  a  momentary  suspicion  of  contrivance  that 
could  justify  her  in  showing  the  letter.  Her  mind 
gathered  itself  up  at  once  into  the  resolution  that 
she  would  manage  to  go  unobserved  to  the 
Whispering  Stones  ;  and  thrusting  the  letter  into 
her  pocket  she  turned  back  to  rejoin  the  company, 
with  that  sense  of  having  something  to  conceal 
which  to  her  nature  had  a  bracing  quality  and 
helped  her  to  be  mistress  of  herself. 

It  was  a  surprise  to  every  one  that  Grandcourt 
was  not,  like  the  other  smokers,  on  the  spot  in 
time  to  set  out  roving  with  the  rest.  "  We  shall 
alight  on  him  by-and-by,"  said  Lord  Brackenshaw ; 
"he  can't  be  gone  far."  At  any  rate,  no  man 
could  be  waited  for.  This  apparent  forgetfulness 
might  be  taken  for  the  distraction  of  a  lover  so 
absorbed  in  thinking  of  the  beloved  object  as  to 


forget  an  appointment  which  would  bring  him 
into  her  actual  presence.  And  the  good-natured 
Earl  gave  Gwendolen  a  distant  jocose  hint  to  that 
effect,  which  she  took  with  suitable  quietude. 
But  the  thought  in  her  own  mind  was,  "  Can  he 
too  be  starting  away  from  a  decision  ? "  It  was 
not  exactly  a  pleasant  thought  to  her ;  but  it  was 
near  the  truth.  "  Starting  away,"  however,  was 
not  the  right  expression  for  the  languor  of  inten- 
tion that  came  over  Grandcourt,  like  a  fit  of 
diseased  numbness,  when  an  end  seemed  within 
easy  reach :  to  desist  then,  when  all  expectation 
was  to  the  contrary,  became  another  gratification 
of  mere  will,  sublimely  independent  of  definite 
motive.  At  that  moment  he  had  begun  a  second 
large  cigar  in  a  vague,  hazy  obstinacy  which,  if 
Lush  or  any  other  mortal  who  might  be  insulted 
with  impunity  had  interrupted  by  overtaking  him 
with  a  request  for  his  return,  would  have  expressed 
itself  by  a  slow  removal  of  his  cigar  to  say,  in  an 
under-tone,  "  You'll  be  kind  enough  to  go  to  the 
devil,  will  you  ? " 

But  he  was  not  interrupted,  and  the  rovers  set 
off  without  any  visible  depression  of  spirits,  leav- 
ing behind  only  a  few  of  the  less  vigorous  ladies, 
including  Mrs  Davilow,  who  preferred  a  quiet 
stroll  free  from  obligation  to  keep  up  with  others. 


The  enjoyment  of  the  day  was  soon  at  its  highest 
pitch,  the  archery  getting  more  spirited  and  the 
changing  scenes  of  the  forest  from  roofed  grove  to 
open  glade  growing  lovelier  with  the  lengthening 
shadows,  and  the  deeply  felt  but  undefinable 
gradations  of  the  mellowing  afternoon.  It  was 
agreed  that  they  were  playing  an  extemporised 
"  As  you  like  it ; "  and  when  a  pretty  compliment 
had  been  turned  to  Gwendolen  about  her  having 
the  part  of  Eosalind,  she  felt  the  more  compelled 
to  be  surpassing  in  liveliness.  This  was  not  very 
difficult  to  her,  for  the  effect  of  what  had  happened 
to-day  was  an  excitement  which  needed  a  vent,  a 
sense  of  adventure  rather  than  alarm,  and  a  strain- 
ing towards  the  management  of  her  retreat  so  as 
not  to  be  impeded. 

The  roving  had  been  lasting  nearly  an  hour  be- 
fore the  arrival  at  the  Whispering  Stones,  two  tall 
conical  blocks  that  leaned  towards  each  other  like 
gigantic  grey -mantled  figures.  They  were  soon 
surveyed  and  passed  by  with  the  remark  that  they 
would  be  good  ghosts  on  a  starlit  night.  But  a 
soft  sunlight  was  on  them  now,  and  Gwendolen 
felt  daring.  The  stones  were  near  a  fine  grove 
of  beeches  where  the  archers  found  plenty  of 

"How  far  are  we  from  Green  Arbour  now?" 


said  Gwendolen,  having  got  in  front  by  the  side  of 
the  warden. 

"  Oh,  not  more  than  half  a  mile,  taking  along  the 
avenue  we're  going  to  cross  up  there :  but  I  shall 
take  round  a  couple  of  miles,  by  the  High  Cross." 

She  was  falling  back  among  the  rest,  when 
suddenly  they  seemed  all  to  be  hurrying  obliquely 
forward  under  the  guidance  of  Mr  Lush,  and 
lingering  a  little  where  she  was,  she  perceived  her 
opportunity  of  slipping  away.  Soon  she  was  out 
of  sight,  and  without  running  she  seemed  to  her- 
self to  fly  along  the  ground  and  count  the  mo- 
ments nothing  till  she  found  herself  back  again  at 
the  Whispering  Stones.  They  turned  their  blank 
grey  sides  to  her:  what  was  there  on  the  other 
side  ?  If  there  were  nothing  after  all  ?  That  was 
her  only  dread  now — to  have  to  turn  back  again  in 
mystification  ;  and  walking  round  the  right-hand 
stone  without  pause,  she  found  herself  in  front 
of  some  one  whose  large  dark  eyes  met  hers  at  a 
foot's  distance.  In  spite  of  expectation  she  was 
startled  and  shrank  back,  but  in  doing  so  she 
could  take  in  the  whole  figure  of  this  stranger  and 
perceive  that  she  was  unmistakably  a  lady,  and 
one  who  must  once  have  been  exceedingly  hand- 
some. She  perceived,  also,  that  a  few  yards  from 
her  were  two  children  seated  on  the  grass. 

VOL.  L  s 


"  Miss  Harleth  ?  *'  said  tlie  lady. 

"Yes."  All  Gwendolen's  consciousness  was 

"  Have  you  accepted  Mr  Grandcourt  ? " 

"  No." 

"  I  have  promised  to  tell  you  something.  And 
you  will  promise  to  keep  my  secret.  However 
you  may  decide,  you  will  not  tell  Mr  Grandcourt, 
or  any  one  else,  that  you  have  seen  me  ? " 

"  I  promise." 

"  My  name  is  Lydia  Glasher.  Mr  Grandcourt 
ought  not  to  marry  any  one  but  me.  I  left  my 
husband  and  child  for  him  nine  years  ago.  Those 
two  children  are  his,  and  we  have  two  others — 
girls — who  are  older.  My  husband  is  dead  now, 
and  Mr  Grandcourt  ought  to  marry  me.  He  ought 
to  make  that  boy  his  heir." 

She  looked  towards  the  boy  as  she  spoke,  and 
Gwendolen's  eyes  followed  hers.  The  handsome 
little  fellow  was  puffing  out  his  cheeks  in  trying  to 
blow  a  tiny  trumpet  which  remained  dumb.  His 
hat  hung  backward  by  a  string,  and  his  brown 
curls  caught  the  sun-rays.     He  was  a  cherub. 

The  two  women's  eyes  met  again,  and  Gwen- 
dolen said  proudly,  "  I  will  not  interfere  with  your 
wishes."  She  looked  as  if  she  were  shivering,  and 
her  lips  were  pale. 


"  You  are  very  attractive.  Miss  Harleth.  But 
when  he  first  knew  me,  I  too  was  young.  Since 
then  my  life  has  been  broken  up  and  embittered. 
It  is  not  fair  that  he  should  be  happy  and  I 
miserable,  and  my  boy  thrust  out  of  sight  for 

These  words  were  uttered  with  a  biting  accent, 
but  with  a  determined  abstinence  from  anything 
violent  in  tone  or  manner.  Gwendolen,  watching 
Mrs  Glasher's  face  while  she  spoke,  felt  a  sort  of 
terror :  it  was  as  if  some  ghastly  vision  had  come 
to  her  in  a  dream  and  said,  "  I  am  a  woman's  life." 

"  Have  you  anything  more  to  say  to  me  ? "  she 
asked  in  a  low  tone,  but  still  proudly  and  coldly. 
The  revulsion  within  her  was  not  tending  to  soften 
her.     Every  one  seemed  hateful 

"  Nothing.  You  know  what  I  wished  you  to 
know.  You  can  inquire  about  me  if  you  like. 
My  husband  was  Colonel  Glasher." 

"Then  I  will  go,"  said  Gwendolen,  moving 
away  with  a  ceremonious  inclination,  which  was 
returned  with  equal  grace. 

In  a  few  minutes  Gwendolen  was  in  the  beech 
grove  again,  but  her  party  had  gone  out  of  sight 
and  apparently  had  not  sent  in  search  of  her,  for 
all  was  solitude  till  she  had  reached  the  avenue 
pointed  out  by  the  warden.     She  determined  to 


take  this  way  back  to  Green  Arbour,  which  she 
reached  quickly ;  rapid  movements  seeming  to  her 
just  now  a  means  of  suspending  the  thoughts 
which  might  prevent  her  from  behaving  with  due 
calm.  She  had  already  made  up  her  mind  what 
step  she  would  take. 

Mrs  Davilow  was  of  course  astonished  to  see 
Gwendolen  returning  alone,  and  was  not  without 
some  uneasiness  which  the  presence  of  other  ladies 
hindered  her  from  showing.  In  answer  to  her 
words  of  surprise  Gwendolen  said — 

"  Oh,  I  have  been  rather  silly.  I  lingered  behind 
to  look  at  the  Whispering  Stones,  and  the  rest 
hurried  on  after  something,  so  I  lost  sight  of  them. 
I  thought  it  best  to  come  home  by  the  short  way 
— ^the  avenue  that  the  warden  had  told  me  of.  I'm 
not  sorry  after  all.     I  had  had  enough  walking." 

"Your  party  did  not  meet  Mr  Grandcourt,  I 
presume,"  said  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  not  without  in- 

"No,"  said  Gwendolen,  with  a  little  flash  of 
defiance  and  a  light  laugh.  "  And  we  didn't  see 
any  carvings  on  the  trees  either.  Where  can  he 
be  ?  I  should  think  he  has  fallen  into  the  pool  or 
had  an  apoplectic  fit." 

With  all  Gwendolen's  resolve  not  to  betray  any 
agitation,  she  could  not  help  it  that  her  tone  was 


unusually  high  and  hard,  and  her  mother  felt  sure 
that  something  unpropitious  had  happened. 

Mrs  Arrowpoint  thought  that  the  self-confident 
young  lady  was  much  piqued,  and  that  Mr  Grand- 
court  was  probably  seeing  reason  to  change  his 

"  If  you  have  no  objection,  mamma,  I  will  order 
the  carriage,"  said  Gwendolen.  "  I  am  tired. 
And  every  one  will  be  going  soon." 

Mrs  Davilow  assented  ;  but  by  the  time  the  car- 
riage was  announced  as  ready — the  horses  having 
to  be  fetched  from  the  stables  on  the  warden's 
premises — the  roving  party  reappeared,  and  with 
them  Mr  Grandcourt. 

"  Ah,  there  you  are ! "  said  Lord  Brackenshaw, 
going  up  to  Gwendolen,  who  was  arranging  her 
mamma's  shawl  for  the  drive.  "  We  thought  at 
first  you  had  alighted  on  Grandcourt  and  he  had 
taken  you  home.  Lush  said  so.  But  after  that 
we  met  Grandcourt.  However,  we  didn't  suppose 
you  could  be  in  any  danger.  The  warden  said  he 
had  told  you  a  near  way  back." 

"  You  are  going  ?  "  said  Grandcourt,  coming  up 
with  his  usual  air,  as  if  he  did  not  conceive  that 
there  had  been  any  omission  on  his  part.  Lord 
Brackenshaw  gave  place  to  him  and  moved  away. 

"  Yes,  we  are  going,"  said  Gwendolen,  looking 


busily  at  her  scarf  which  she  was  arranging  across 
her  shoulders  Scotch  fashion. 

"  May  I  call  at  Offendene  to-morrow  ? " 

"  Oh  yes,  if  you  like,"  said  Gwendolen,  sweeping 
him  from  a  distance  with  her  eyelashes.  Her 
voice  was  light  and  sharp  as  the  first  touch  of 

Mrs  Davilow  accepted  his  arm  to  lead  her  to  the 
carriage ;  but  while  that  was  happening,  Gwendolen 
with  incredible  swiftness  had  got  in  advance  of 
them  and  had  sprung  into  the  carriage. 

"  I  got  in,  mamma,  because  I  wished  to  be  on 
this  side,"  she  said,  apologetically.  But  she  had 
avoided  Grandcourt's  touch:  he  only  lifted  his 
hat  and  walked  away — with  the  not  unsatisfac- 
tory impression  that  she  meant  to  show  herself 
offended  by  his  neglect. 

The  mother  and  daughter  drove  for  five  minutes 
in  silence.  Then  Gwendolen  said,  "  I  intend  to 
join  the  Langens  at  Dover,  mamma.  I  shall  pack 
up  immediately  on  getting  home,  and  set  off  by 
the  early  train.  I  shall  be  at  Dover  almost  as  soon 
as  they  are  ;  we  can  let  them  know  by  telegraph." 

"  Good  heavens,  child !  what  can  be  your  reason 
for  sajdng  so  ? " 

"  My  reason  for  saying  it,  mamma,  is  that  I 
mean  to  do  it." 


"  But  why  do  you  mean  to  do  it  ?  " 

"  I  wish  to  go  away." 

*'  Is  it  because  you  are  offended  with  Mr  Grand- 
court's  odd  behaviour  in  walking  off  to-day  ? " 

"  It  is  useless  to  enter  into  such  questions.  I 
am  not  going  in  any  case  to  marry  Mr  Grandcourt. 
Don't  interest  yourself  further  about  him." 

"  What  can  I  say  to  your  uncle,  Gwendolen  ? 
Consider  the  position  you  place  me  in.  You  led 
him  to  believe  only  last  night  that  you  had  made 
up  your  mind  in  favour  of  Mr  Grandcourt." 

"I  am  very  sorry  to  cause  you  annoyance, 
mamma  dear,  but  I  can't  help  it,"  said  Gwen- 
dolen, with  still  harder  resistance  in  her  tone. 
"Whatever  you  or  my  uncle  may  think  or  do, 
I  shall  not  alter  my  resolve,  and  I  shall  not  tell 
my  reason.  I  don't  care  what  comes  of  it.  I  don't 
care  if  I  never  marry  any  one.  There  is  nothing 
worth  caring  for.  I  believe  all  m^n  are  bad,  and 
I  hate  them." 

"  But  need  you  set  off  in  this  way,  Gwendolen  ? " 
said  Mrs  Davilow,  miserable  and  helpless. 

"Now,  mamma,  don't  interfere  with  me.  If 
you  have  ever  had  any  trouble  in  your  own  life,  re- 
member it,  and  don't  interfere  with  me.  If  I  am 
to  be  miserable,  let  it  be  by  my  own  choice." 

The  mother  was  reduced  to  trembling  silence. 


She  began  to  see  that  the  difficulty  would  be  less- 
ened if  Gwendolen  went  away. 

And  she  did  go.  The  packing  was  all  carefully 
done  that  evening,  and  not  long  after  dawn  the 
next  day  Mrs  Davilow  accompanied  her  daughter 
to  the  railway  station.  The  sweet  dews  of  morn- 
ing, the  cows  and  horses  looking  over  the  hedges 
without  any  particular  reason,  the  early  travel- 
lers on  foot  with  their  bundles,  seemed  all  very 
melancholy  and  purposeless  to  them  both.  The 
dingy  torpor  of  the  railway  station,  before  the  ticket 
could  be  taken,  was  still  worse.  Gwendolen  had 
certainly  hardened  in  the  last  twenty-four  hours : 
her  mother's  trouble  evidently  counted  for  little 
in  her  present  state  of  mind,  which  did  not  essen- 
tially differ  from  the  mood  that  makes  men  take 
to  worse  conduct  when  their  belief  in  persons  or 
things  is  upset.  Gwendolen's  uncontrolled  read- 
ing, though  consisting  chiefly  in  what  are  called 
pictures  of  life,  had  somehow  not  prepared  her  for 
this  encounter  with  reality.  Is  that  surprising  ? 
It  is  to  be  believed  that  attendance  at  the  op4ra 
houffe  in  the  present  day  would  not  leave  men's 
minds  entirely  without  shock,  if  the  manners  ob- 
served there  with  some  applause  were  suddenly  to 
start  up  in  their  own  families.  Perspective,  as  its 
inventor  remarked,  is  a  beautiful  thing.    What 


horrors  of  damp  huts,  where  human  beings  lan- 
guish, may  not  become  picturesque  through  aerial 
distance  !  What  hymning  of  cancerous  vices  may 
we  not  languish  over  as  sublimest  art  in  the  safe 
remoteness  of  a  strange  language  and  artificial 
phrase !  Yet  we  keep  a  repugnance  to  rheum- 
atism and  other  painful  effects  when  presented  in 
our  personal  experience. 

Mrs  Davilow  felt  Gwendolen's  new  phase  of 
indifference  keenly,  and  as  she  drove  back  alone, 
the  brightening  morning  was  sadder  to  her  than 

Mr  Grandcourt  called  that  day  at  Offendene, 
but  nobody  was  at  home. 



"  Festinalente — celerity  should  be  contempered  with  cunctation. "— Sir 
Thomas  Browne. 

Gwendolen,  we  have  seen,  passed  her  time  abroad 
in  the  new  excitement  of  gambling,  and  in  ima- 
gining herself  an  empress  of  luck,  having  brought 
from  her  late  experience  a  vague  impression  that 
in  this  confused  world  it  signified  nothing  what 
any  one  did,  so  that  they  amused  themselves.  We 
have  seen,  too,  that  certain  persons,  mysteriously 
symbolised  as  Grapnell  and  Co.,  having  also 
thought  of  reigning  in  the  realm  of  luck,  and 
being  also  bent  on  amusing  themselves,  no  matter 
how,  had  brought  about  a  painful  change  in  her 
family  circumstances;  whence  she  had  returned 
home — carrying  with  her,  against  her  inclination, 
a  necklace  which  she  had  pawned  and  some  one 
else  had  redeemed. 

While  she  was  going  back  to  England,  Grand- 
court  was  coming  to  find  her;   coming,  that  is. 


after  his  own  manner — not  in  haste  by  express 
straight  from  Diplow  to  Leubronn,  where  she  was 
understood  to  be ;  but  so  entirely  without  hurry 
that  he  was  induced  by  the  presence  of  some  Rus- 
sian acquaintances  to  linger  at  Baden-Baden  and 
make  various  appointments  with  them,  which,  how- 
ever, his  desire  to  be  at  Leubronn  ultimately  caused 
him  to  break.  Grandcourt's  passions  were  of  the 
intermittent,  flickering  kind :  never  flaming  out 
strongly.  But  a  great  deal  of  life  goes  on  without 
strong  passion:  myriads  of  cravats  are  carefully 
tied,  dinners  attended,  even  speeches  made  propos- 
ing the  health  of  august  personages,  without  the 
zest  arising  from  a  strong  desire.  And  a  man  may 
make  a  good  appearance  in  high  social  positions 
— may  be  supposed  to  know  the  classics,  to  have 
his  reserves  on  science,  a  strong  though  repressed 
opinion  on  politics,  and  all  the  sentiments  of  the 
English  gentleman,  at  a  small  expense  of  vital 
energy.  Also,  he  may  be  obstinate  or  persistent 
at  the  same  low  rate,  and  may  even  show  sudden 
impulses  which  have  a  false  air  of  daemonic 
strength  because  they  seem  inexplicable,  though, 
perhaps  their  secret  lies  merely  in  the  want  of 
regulated  channels  for  the  soul  to  move  in — good 
and  sufficient  ducts  of  habit,  without  which  our 
nature  easily  turns  to  mere  ooze  and  mud,  and 


at  any  pressure  yields  nothing  but  a  spurt  or  a 

Grandcourt  liad  not  been  altogether  displeased 
by  Gwendolen's  running  away  from  the  splendid 
chance  he  was  holding  out  to  her.  The  act  had 
some  piquancy  for  him.  He  liked  to  think  that  it 
was  due  to  resentment  of  his  careless  behaviour  in 
Cardell  Chase,  which,  when  he  came  to  consider 
it,  did  appear  rather  cool.  To  have  brought  her  so 
near  a  tender  admission,  and  then  to  have  walked 
headlong  away  from  further  opportunities  of  win- 
ning the  consent  which  he  had  made  her  under- 
stand him  to  be  asking  for,  was  enough  to  pro- 
voke a  girl  of  spirit ;  and  to  be  worth  his  master- 
ing it  was  proper  that  she  should  have  some  spirit. 
Doubtless  she  meant  him  to  follow  her,  and  it  was 
what  he  meant  too.  But  for  a  whole  week  he 
took  no  measures  towards  starting,  and  did  not 
even  inquire  where  Miss  Harleth  was  gone.  Mr 
Lush  felt  a  triumph  that  was  mingled  with  much 
distrust ;  for  Grandcourt  had  said  no  word  to  him 
about  her,  and  looked  as  neutral  as  an  alligator : 
there  was  no  telling  what  might  turn  up  in  the 
slowly-churning  chances  of  his  mind.  Still,  to 
have  put  off  a  decision  was  to  have  made  room 
for  the  waste  of  Grandcourt's  energy. 

The  guests  at  Diplow  felt  more  curiosity  than 


their  host.  How  was  it  that  nothing  more  was 
heard  of  Miss  Harleth  ?  Was  it  credible  that  she 
had  refused  Mr  Grandcourt  ?  Lady  Flora  Hollis, 
a  lively  middle-aged  woman,  well  endowed  with 
curiosity,  felt  a  sudden  interest  in  making  a  round 
of  calls  with  Mrs  Torrington,  including  the  Eec- 
tory,  Offendene,  and  Quetcham,  and  thus  not  only 
got  twice  over,  but  also  discussed  with  the  Arrow- 
points,  the  information  that  Miss  Harleth  was  gone 
to  Leubronn  with  some  old  friends,  the  Baron  and 
Baroness  von  Langen ;  for  the  immediate  agitation 
and  disappointment  of  Mrs  Davilow  and  the  Gas- 
coignes  had  resolved  itself  into  a  wish  that  Gwen- 
dolen's disappearance  should  not  be  interpreted 
as  anything  eccentric  or  needful  to  be  kept  secret. 
The  Kector's  mind,  indeed,  entertained  the  possi- 
bility that  the  marriage  was  only  a  little  deferred, 
for  Mrs  Davilow  had  not  dared  to  tell  him  of  the 
bitter  determination  with  which  Gwendolen  had 
spoken.  And  in  spite  of  his  practical  ability, 
some  of  his  experience  had  petrified  into  maxims 
and  quotations.  Amaryllis  fleeing  desired  that 
her  hiding-place  should  be  known  ;  and  that  love 
will  find  out  the  way  "  over  the  mountain  and  over 
the  wave  "  may  be  said  without  hyperbole  in  this 
age  of  steam.  Gwendolen,  he  conceived,  was  an 
Amaryllis  of  excellent  sense  but  coquettish  dar- 


ing ;  the  question  was,  whether  she  had  dared  too 

Lady  Flora,  coining  back  charged  with  news 
about  Miss  Harleth,  saw  no  good  reason  why  she 
should  not  try  whether  she  could  electrify  Mr 
Grandcourt  by  mentioning  it  to  him  at  table  ;  and 
in  doing  so  shot  a  few  hints  of  a  notion  having 
got  abroad  that  he  was  a  disappointed  adorer. 
Grandcourt  heard  with  quietude,  but  with  atten- 
tion ;  and  the  next  day  he  ordered  Lush  to  bring 
about  a  decent  reason  for  breaking  up  the  party 
at  Diplow  by  the  end  of  another  week,  as  he  meant 
to  go  yachting  to  the  Baltic  or  somewhere — it 
being  impossible  to  stay  at  Diplow  as  if  he  were 
a  prisoner  on  parole,  with  a  set  of  people  whom 
he  had  never  wanted.  Lush  needed  no  clearer 
announcement  that  Grandcourt  was  going  to  Leu- 
bronn ;  but  he  might  go  after  the  manner  of  a 
creeping  billiard  -  ball  and  stick  on  the  way. 
What  Mr  Lush  intended  was  to  make  himself 
indispensable  so  that  he  might  go  too,  and  he  suc- 
ceeded; Gwendolen's  repulsion  for  him  being  a 
fact  that  only  amused  his  patron,  and  made  him 
none  the  less  willing  to  have  Lush  always  at 

This  was  how  it  happened  that  Grandcourt 
arrived  at  the  Czarina  on   the   fifth  day  after 


Gwendolen  had  left  Leubronn,  and  found  there 
his  uncle,  Sir  Hugo  Mallinger,  with  his  family, 
including  Deronda.  It  is  not  necessarily  a  plea- 
sure either  to  the  reigning  power  or  the  heir  pre- 
sumptive when  their  separate  affairs — a  touch  of 
gout,  say,  in  the  one,  and  a  touch  of  wilfulness 
in  the  other — happen  to  bring  them  to  the  same 
spot.  Sir  Hugo  was  an  easy-tempered  man,  tole- 
rant both  of  differences  and  defects ;  but  a  point 
of  view  different  from  his  own  concerning  the 
settlement  of  the  family  estates  fretted  him  rather 
more  than  if  it  had  concerned  Church  discipline 
or  the  ballot,  and  faults  were  the  less  venial  for 
belonging  to  a  person  whose  existence  was  incon- 
venient to  him.  In  no  case  could  Grandcourt 
have  been  a  nephew  after  his  own  heart ;  but  as 
the  presumptive  heir  to  the  Mallinger  estates  he 
was  the  sign  and  embodiment  of  a  chief  grievance 
in  the  baronet's  life — the  want  of  a  son  to  inherit 
the  lands,  in  no  portion  of  which  had  he  himself 
more  than  a  life-interest.  For  in  the  ill-advised 
settlement  which  his  father,  Sir  Francis,  had 
chosen  to  make  by  will,  even  Diplow  with  its 
modicum  of  land  had  been  left  under  the  same 
conditions  as  the  ancient  and  wide  inheritance  of 
the  two  Toppings — Diplow,  where  Sir  Hugo  had 
lived  and  hunted  through  many  a  season  in  his 


younger  years,  and  where  his  wife  and  daughters 
ought  to  have  been  able  to  retire  after  his  death. 

This  grievance  had  naturally  gathered  em- 
phasis as  the  years  advanced,  and  Lady  Mallinger, 
after  having  had  three  daughters  in  quick  succes- 
sion, had  remained  for  eight  years  till  now  that 
she  was  over  forty  without  producing  so  much  as 
another  girl;  while  Sir  Hugo,  almost  twenty  years 
older,  was  at  a  time  of  life  when,  notwithstanding 
the  fashionable  retardation  of  most  things  from 
dinners  to  marriages,  a  man's  hopefulness  is  apt 
to  show  signs  of  wear,  until  restored  by  second 

In  fact,  he  had  begun  to  despair  of  a  son,  and 
this  confirmation  of  Grandcourt's  interest  in  the 
estates  certainly  tended  to  make  his  image  and 
presence  the  more  unwelcome ;  but,  on  the  other 
hand,  it  carried  circumstances  which  disposed  Sir 
Hugo  to  take  care  that  the  relation  between  them 
should  be  kept  as  friendly  as  possible.  It  led 
him  to  dwell  on  a  plan  which  had  grown  up  side 
by  side  with  his  disappointment  of  an  heir ; 
namely,  to  try  and  secure  Diplow  as  a  future 
residence  for  Lady  Mallinger  and  her  daughters, 
and  keep  this  pretty  bit  of  the  family  inheritance 
for  his  own  offspring  in  spite  of  that  disappoint- 
ment.   Such  knowledge  as  he  had  of  his  nephew's 


disposition  and  affairs  encouraged  the  belief  that 
Grandcourt  might  consent  to  a  transaction  by 
which  he  would  get  a  good  sum  of  ready  money, 
as  an  equivalent  for  his  prospective  interest  in 
the  domain  of  Diplow  and  the  moderate  amount 
of  land  attached  to  it.  If,  after  all,  the  unhoped- 
for son  should  be  born,  the  money  would  have 
been  thrown  away,  and  Grandcourt  would  have 
been  paid  for  giving  up  interests  that  had  turned 
out  good  for  nothing ;  but  Sir  Hugo  set  down  this 
risk  as  nil,  and  of  late  years  he  had  husbanded 
his  fortune  so  well  by  the  working  of  mines  and 
the  sale  of  leases  that  he  was  prepared  for  an 

Here  was  an  object  that  made  him  careful  to 
avoid  any  quarrel  with  Grandcourt.  Some  years 
before,  when  he  was  making  improvements  at  the 
Abbey,  and  needed  Grandcourt's  concurrence  in 
his  felling  an  obstructive  mass  of  timber  on  the 
demesne,  he  had  congratulated  himself  on  finding 
that  there  was  no  active  spite  against  him  in  his 
nephew's  peculiar  mind;  and  nothing  had  since 
occurred  to  make  them  hate  each  other  more  than 
was  compatible  with  perfect  politeness,  or  with 
any  accommodation  that  could  be  strictly  mutual 

Grandcourt,  on  his  side,  thought  his  uncle  a 
superfluity  and  a  bore,  and  felt  that  the  list  of 

VOL.  I.  T 


things  in  general  would  be  improved  whenever 
Sir  Hugo  came  to  be  expunged.  But  he  had  been 
made  aware  through  Lush,  always  a  useful  me- 
dium, of  the  baronet's  inclinations  concerning 
Diplow,  and  he  was  gratified  to  have  the  alterna- 
tive of  the  money  in  his  mind  :  even  if  he  had  not 
thought  it  in  the  least  likely  that  he  would  choose 
to  accept  it,  his  sense  of  power  would  have  been 
flattered  by  his  being  able  to  refuse  what  Sir 
Hugo  desired.  The  hinted  transaction  had  told 
for  something  among  the  motives  which  had 
made  him  ask  for  a  year's  tenancy  of  Diplow, 
which  it  had  rather  annoyed  Sir  Hugo  to  grant, 
because  the  excellent  hunting  in  the  neighbour- 
hood might  decide  Grandcourt  not  to  part  with 
his  chance  of  future  possession ; — a  man  who  has 
two  places,  in  one  of  which  the  hunting  is  less 
good,  naturally  desiring  a  third  where  it  is  better. 
Also,  Lush  had  thrown  out  to  Sir  Hugo  the  pro- 
bability that  Grandcourt  would  woo  and  win 
Miss  Arrowpoint,  and  in  that  case  ready  money 
might  be  less  of  a  temptation  to  him.  Hence, 
on  this  unexpected  meeting  at  Leubronn,  the 
baronet  felt  much  curiosity  to  know  how  things 
had  been  going  on  at  Diplow,  was  bent  on  being 
as  civil  as  possible  to  his  nephew,  and  looked  for- 
ward to  some  private  chat  with  Lush. 


Between  Deronda  and  Grandcourt  there  was 
a  more  faintly  marked  but  peculiar  relation,  de- 
pending on  circumstances  which  have  yet  to  be 
made  known.  But  on  no  side  was  there  any  sign 
of  suppressed  chagrin  on  the  first  meeting  at  the 
table  d'hSte,  an  hour  after  Grandcourt's  arrival; 
and  when  the  quartette  of  gentlemen  afterwards 
met  on  the  terrace,  without  Lady  Mallinger,  they 
moved  off  together  to  saunter  through  the  rooms, 
Sir  Hugo  saying  as  they  entered  the  large  saal — 

"  Did  you  play  much  at  Baden,  Grandcourt  ?  " 

"  No ;  I  looked  on  and  betted  a  little  with  some 
Russians  there." 

"Had  you  luck?" 

«  What  did  I  win.  Lush  ? " 

"  You  brought  away  about  two  hundred,"  said 

"You  are  not  here  for  the  sake  of  the  play, 
then?"  said  Sir  Hugo. 

"  No ;  I  don't  care  about  play  now.  It's  a 
confounded  strain,"  said  Grandcourt,  whose  dia- 
mond ring  and  demeanour,  as  he  moved  along 
playing  slightly  with  his  whisker,  were  being  a 
good  deal  stared  at  by  rouged  foreigners  interested 
in  a  new  milord. 

*'  The  fact  is,  somebody  should  invent  a  mill  to 
do  amusements  for  you,  my  dear  fellow,"  said  Sir 


Hugo,  "as  the  Tartars  get  their  praying  done. 
But  I  agree  with  you ;  I  never  cared  for  play.  It's 
monotonous  —  knits  the  brain  up  into  meshes. 
And  it  knocks  me  up  to  watch  it  now.  I  suppose 
one  gets  poisoned  with  the  bad  air.  I  never  stay 
here  more  than  ten  minutes.  But  where's  your 
gambling  beauty,  Deronda  ?  Have  you  seen  her 

"  She's  gone,"  said  Deronda,  curtly. 

"An  uncommonly  fine  girl,  a  perfect  Diana," 
said  Sir  Hugo,  turning  to  Grandcourt  again. 
"Eeally  worth  a  little  straining  to  look  at  her. 
I  saw  her  winning,  and  she  took  it  as  coolly  as 
if  she  had  known  it  all  beforehand.  The  same  day 
Deronda  happened  to  see  her  losing  like  wildiire, 
and  she  bore  it  with  immense  pluck.  I  suppose 
she  was  cleaned  out,  or  was  wise  enough  to  stop 
in  time.     How  do  you  know  she's  gone  ?  " 

"  Oh,  by  the  Visitor-list,"  said  Deronda,  with  a 
scarcely  perceptible  shrug.  "Vandernoodt  told 
me  her  name  was  Harleth,  and  she  was  with  the 
Baron  and  Baroness  von  Langen.  I  saw  by  the 
list  that  Miss  Harleth  was  no  longer  there." 

This  held  no  further  information  for  Lush  than 
that  Gwendolen  had  been  gambling.  He  had 
already  looked  at  the  list,  and  ascertained  that 
Gwendolen  had  gone,  but  he  had  no  intention 


of  thrusting  this  knowledge  on  Grandcourt  before 
he  asked  for  it ;  and  he  had  not  asked,  finding  it 
enough  to  believe  that  the  object  of  search  would 
turn  up  somewhere  or  other. 

But  now  Grandcourt  had  heard  what  was  rather 
piquant,  and  not  a  word  about  Miss  Harleth  had 
been  missed  by  him.  After  a  moment's  pause  he 
said  to  Deronda — 

"  Do  you  know  those  people — the  Langens  ? " 
**  I  have  talked  with  them  a  little  since  Miss 
Harleth  went  away.     I  knew  nothing  of  them 

"  Where  is  she  gone — do  you  know  ? " 
"  She  is  gone  home,"  said  Deronda,  coldly,  as  if 
he  wished  to  say  no  more.  But  then,  from  a  fresh 
impulse,  he  turned  to  look  markedly  at  Grand- 
court,  and  added,  "  But  it  is  possible  you  know 
her.  Her  home  is  not  far  from  Diplow :  Offen- 
dene,  near  Wancester." 

Deronda,  turning  to  look  straight  at  Grandcourt 
who  was  on  his  left  hand,  might  have  been  a  sub- 
ject for  those  old  painters  who  liked  contrasts  of 
temperament.  There  was  a  calm  intensity  of  life 
and  richness  of  tint  in  his  face  that  on  a  sudden 
gaze  from  him  was  rather  startling,  and  often 
made  him  seem  to  have  spoken,  so  that  servants 
and  officials  asked  him  automatically,  "  what  did 


you  say,  sir  ? "  when  he  had  been  quite  silent. 
Grandcourt  himself  felt  an  irritation,  which  he  did 
not  show  except  by  a  slight  movement  of  the  eye- 
lids, at  Deronda's  turning  round  on  him  when  he 
was  not  asked  to  do  more  than  speak.  But  he 
answered,  with  his  usual  drawl,  "Yes,  I  know 
her/'  and  paused  with  his  shoulder  towards 
Deronda,  to  look  at  the  gambling. 

"  What  of  her,  eh  ? "  asked  Sir  Hugo  of  Lush, 
as  the  three  moved  on  a  little  way.  "  She  must 
be  a  new-comer  at  Offendene.  Old  Blenny  lived 
there  after  the  dowager  died." 

"  A  little  too  much  of  her,"  said  Lush,  in  a  low, 
significant  tone ;  not  sorry  to  let  Sir  Hugo  know 
the  state  of  affairs. 

"Why?  how?"  said  the  baronet.  They  all 
moved  out  of  the  salon  into  a  more  airy  promenade. 

"  He  has  been  on  the  brink  of  marrying  her," 
Lush  went  on.  "  But  I  hope  it's  off  now.  She's  a 
niece  of  the  clergyman — Gascoigne — at  Pennicote. 
Her  mother  is  a  widow  with  a  brood  of  daughters. 
This  girl  will  have  nothing,  and  is  as  dangerous 
as  gunpowder.  It  would  be  a  foolish  marriage. 
But  she  has  taken  a  freak  against  him,  for  she 
ran  off  here  without  notice,  when  he  had  agreed 
to  call  the  next  day.  The  fact  is,  he's  here  after 
her ;  but  he  was  in  no  great  hurry,  and  between 


his  caprice  and  hers  they  are  likely  enough  not 
to  get  together  again.  But  of  course  he  has  lost 
his  chance  with  the  heiress." 

Grandcourt  joining  them  said,  "  What  a  beastly 
den  this  is ! — a  worse  hole  than  Baden.  I  shall 
go  back  to  the  hotel." 

When  Sir  Hugo  and  Deronda  were  alone,  the 
baronet  began — 

"  Eather  a  pretty  story.  That  girl  has  some 
drama  in  her.  She  must  be  worth  running  after — 
has  de  Vimprhu.  I  think  her  appearance  on  the 
scene  has  bettered  my  chance  of  getting  Diplow, 
whether  the  marriage  comes  off  or  not." 

"  I  should  hope  a  marriage  like  that  would  not 
come  off,"  said  Deronda,  in  a  tone  of  disgust. 

"  What !  are  you  a  little  touched  with  the  sub- 
lime lash?"  said  Sir  Hugo,  putting  up  his  glasses 
to  help  his  short  sight  in  looking  at  his  com- 
panion.    "  Are  you  inclined  to  run  after  her  ? " 

"  On  the  contrary,"  said  Deronda,  "  I  should 
rather  be  inclined  to  run  away  from  her." 

"  Why,  you  would  easily  cut  out  Grandcourt. 
A  girl  with  her  spirit  would  think  you  the  finer 
match  of  the  two,"  said  Sir  Hugo,  who  often  tried 
Deronda's  patience  by  finding  a  joke  in  impossible 
advice.  (A  difference  of  taste  in  jokes  is  a  great 
strain  on  the  affections.) 


*'  I  suppose  pedigree  and  land  belong  to  a  fine 
match,"  said  Deronda,  coldly. 

"  The  best  horse  will  win  in  spite  of  pedigree, 
my  boy.  You  remember  Napoleon's  mot — Je  suis 
ancetre"  said  Sir  Hugo,  who  habitually  under- 
valued birth,  as  men  after  dining  well  often  agree 
that  the  good  of  life  is  distributed  with  wonderful 

"  I  am  not  sure  that  I  want  to  be  an  ancestor," 
said  Deronda.  "  It  doesn't  seem  to  me  the  rarest 
sort  of  origination." 

"  You  won't  run  after  the  pretty  gambler,  then  ? " 
said  Sir  Hugo,  putting  down  his  glasses. 

"  Decidedly  not.'* 

This  answer  was  perfectly  truthful;  nevertheless 
it  had  passed  through  Deronda's  mind  that  under 
other  circumstances  he  should  have  given  way  to 
the  interest  this  girl  had  raised  in  him,  and  tried 
to  know  more  of  her.  But  his  history  had  given 
him  a  stronger  bias  in  another  direction.  He  felt 
himself  in  no  sense  free. 



Men,  like  planets,  have  both  a  visible  and  an  invisible  history.  The 
astronomer  threads  the  darkness  with  strict  deduction,  accounting  so  for 
every  visible  arc  in  the  wanderer's  orbit ;  and  the  narrator  of  human  actions, 
if  he  did  his  work  with  the  same  completeness,  would  have  to  thread  the 
hidden  pathways  of  feeling  and  thought  which  lead  up  to  every  moment  of 
action,  and  to  those  moments  of  intense  suflfering  which  take  the  quality 
of  action — like  the  cry  of  Prometheus,  whose  chained  anguish  seems  a 
greater  energy  than  the  sea  and  sky  he  invokes  and  the  deity  he  defies. 

Deronda's  circumstances,  indeed,  had  been  ex- 
ceptional. One  moment  had  been  burnt  into  his 
life  as  its  chief  epoch — a  moment  full  of  July- 
sunshine  and  large  pink  roses  shedding  their  last 
petals  on  a  grassy  court  enclosed  on  three  sides  by 
a  Gothic  cloister.  Imagine  him  in  such  a  scene  : 
a  boy  of  thirteen,  stretched  prone  on  the  grass 
where  it  was  in  shadow,  his  curly  head  propped 
on  his  arms  over  a  book,  while  his  tutor,  also 
reading,  sat  on  a  camp  -  stool  under  shelter. 
Deronda's  book  was  Sismondi's  History  of  the 
Italian  Kepublics: — the  lad  had  a  passion  for 
history,  eager  to  know  how  time  had  been  filled 
up  since  the  Flood,  and  how  things  were  carried 


on  in  the  dull  periods.  Suddenly  he  let  down  his 
left  arm  and  looked  at  his  tutor,  saying  in  purest 
boyish  tones — 

"  Mr  Eraser,  how  was  it  that  the  popes  and 
cardinals  always  had  so  many  nephews  ? " 

The  tutor,  an  able  young  Scotchman  who  acted 
as  Sir  Hugo  Mallinger's  secretary,  roused  rather 
unwillingly  from  his  political  economy,  answered 
with  the  clear-cut,  emphatic  chant  which  makes 
a  truth  doubly  telling  in  Scotch  utterance — 

"  Their  owtt  children  were  called  nephews." 

"Why?"  saidDeronda. 

"  It  was  just  for  the  propriety  of  the  thing ;  be- 
cause, as  you  know  very  well,  priests  don't  marry, 
and  the  children  were  illegitimate." 

Mr  Eraser,  thrusting  out  his  lower  lip  and  making 
his  chant  of  the  last  word  the  more  emphatic  for  a 
little  impatience  at  being  interrupted,  had  already 
turned  his  eyes  on  his  book  again,  while  Deronda, 
as  if  something  had  stung  him,  started  up  in  a 
sitting  attitude  with  his  back  to  the  tutor. 

He  had  always  called  Sir  Hugo  Mallinger  his 
uncle,  and  when  it  once  occurred  to  him  to  ask 
about  his  father  and  mother,  the  baronet  had 
answered,  "  You  lost  your  father  and  mother  when 
you  were  quite  a  little  one ;  that  is  why  I  take 
care  of  you."  Daniel  then  straining  to  discern  some- 


thing  in  that  early  twilight,  had  a  dim  sense  of 
having  been  kissed  very  much,  and  surrounded  by 
thin,  cloudy,  scented  drapery,  till  his  fingers  caught 
in  something  hard,  which  hurt  him,  and  he  began 
to  cry.  Every  other  memory  he  had  was  of  the 
little  world  in  which  he  still  lived.  And  at  that 
time  he  did  not  mind  about  learning  more,  for 
he  was  too  fond  of  Sir  Hugo  to  be  sorry  for  the 
loss  of  unknown  parents.  Life  was  very  delight- 
ful to  the  lad,  with  an  uncle  who  was  always  in- 
dulgent and  cheerful — a  fine  man  in  the  bright 
noon  of  life,  whom  Daniel  thought  absolutely 
perfect,  and  whose  place  was  one  of  the  finest  in 
England,  at  once  historical,  romantic,  and  home- 
like: a  picturesque  architectural  outgrowth  from  an 
abbey,  which  had  still  remnants  of  the  old  monastic 
trunk.  Diplow  lay  in  another  county,  and  was 
a  comparatively  landless  place  which  had  come 
into  the  family  from  a  rich  lawyer  on  the  female 
side,  who  wore  the  perruque  of  the  Eestoration  ; 
whereas  the  Mallingers  had  the  grant  of  Monk's 
Topping  under  Henry  the  Eighth,  and  ages  before 
had  held  the  neighbouring  lands  of  King's  Top- 
ping, tracing  indeed  their  origin  to  a  certain  Hu- 
gues  le  Malingre,  who  came  in  with  the  Conqueror, 
— and  also  apparently  with  a  sickly  complexion, 
which  had  been  happily  corrected  in  his  descend- 


ants.  Two  rows  of  these  descendants,  direct  and 
collateral,  females  of  the  male  line,  and  males  of 
the  female,  looked  down  in  the  gallery  over  the 
cloisters  on  the  nephew  Daniel  as  he  walked  there : 
men  in  armour  with  pointed  beards  and  arched 
eyebrows,  pinched  ladies  in  hoops  and  ruffs  with 
no  face  to  speak  of ;  grave-looking  men  in  black 
velvet  and  stuffed  hips,  and  fair,  frightened  women 
holding  little  boys  by  the  hand;  smiling  politi- 
cians in  magnificent  perruques,  and  ladies  of  the 
prize-animal  kind,  with  rosebud  mouths  and  full 
eyelids,  according  to  Lely;  then  a  generation 
whose  faces  were  revised  and  embellished  in  the 
taste  of  Kneller ;  and  so  on  through  refined  editions 
of  the  family  types  in  the  time  of  Eeynolds  and 
Eomney,  till  the  line  ended  with  Sir  Hugo  and  his 
younger  brother  Henleigh.  This  last  had  married 
Miss  Grandcourt,  and  taken  her  name  along  with 
her  estates,  thus  making  a  junction  between  two 
equally  old  families,  impaling  the  three  Saracens* 
heads  proper  and  three  bezants  of  the  one  with 
the  tower  and  falcons  argent  of  the  other,  and,  as 
it  happened,  uniting  their  highest  advantages  in 
the  prospects  of  that  Henleigh  Mallinger  Grand- 
court  who  is  at  present  more  of  an  acquaintance 
to  us  than  either  Sir  Hugo  or  his  nephew  Daniel 


In  Sir  Hugo's  youthful  portrait  witli  rolled  collar 
and  high  cravat,  Sir  Thomas  Lawrence  had  done 
j  ustice  to  the  agreeable  alacrity  of  expression  and 
sanguine  temperament  still  to  be  seen  in  the  ori- 
ginal, but  had  done  something  more  than  justice  in 
slightly  lengthening  the  nose,  which  was  in  reality 
shorter  than  might  have  been  expected  in  a  Mal- 
linger.  Happily  the  appropriate  nose  of  the  family 
reappeared  in  his  younger  brother,  and  was  to  be 
seen  in  all  its  refined  regularity  in  his  nephew 
Mallinger  Grandcourt.  But  in  the  nephew  Daniel 
Deronda  the  family  faces  of  various  types,  seen  on 
the  walls  of  the  gallery,  found  no  reflex.  Still  he 
was  handsomer  than  any  of  them,  and  when  he 
was  thirteen  might  have  served  as  model  for  any 
painter  who  wanted  to  image  the  most  memorable 
of  boys :  you  could  hardly  have  seen  his  face 
thoroughly  meeting  yours  without  believing  that 
human  creatures  had  done  nobly  in  times  past, 
and  might  do  more  nobly  in  time  to  come.  The 
finest  childlike  faces  have  this  consecrating  power, 
and  make  us  shudder  anew  at  all  the  grossness 
and  basely-wrought  griefs  of  the  world,  lest  they 
should  enter  here  and  defile. 

But  at  this  moment  on  the  grass  among  the  rose- 
petals,  Daniel  Deronda  was  making  a  first  acquaint- 
ance with  those  griefs.    A  new  idea  had  entered 


his  mind,  and  was  beginning  to  change  the  aspect 
of  his  habitual  feelings  as  happy  careless  voyagers 
are  changed  when  the  sky  suddenly  threatens  and 
the  thought  of  danger  arises.  He  sat  perfectly 
still  with  his  back  to  the  tutor,  while  his  face  ex- 
pressed rapid  inward  transition.  The  deep  blush, 
which  had  come  when  he  first  started  up,  gradually 
subsided ;  but  his  features  kept  that  indescribable 
look  of  subdued  activity  which  often  accompanies 
a  new  mental  survey  of  familiar  facts.  He  had  not 
lived  with  other  boys,  and  his  mind  showed  the 
same  blending  of  child's  ignorance  with  surprising 
knowledge  which  is  oftener  seen  in  bright  girls. 
Having  read  Shakespeare  as  well  as  a  great  deal  of 
history,  he  could  have  talked  with  the  wisdom  of 
a  bookish  child  about  men  who  were  born  out  of 
wedlock  and  were  held  unfortunate  in  consequence, 
being  under  disadvantages  which  required  them 
to  be  a  sort  of  heroes  if  they  were  to  work  them- 
selves up  to  an  equal  standing  with  their  legally 
born  brothers.  But  he  had  never  brought  such 
knowledge  into  any  association  with  his  own  lot, 
which  had  been  too  easy  for  him  ever  to  think  about 
it — until  this  moment  when  there  had  darted  into 
his  mind  with  the  magic  of  quick  comparison,  the 
possibility  that  here  was  the  secret  of  his  own 
birth,  and  that  the  man  whom  he  called  uncle  was 


really  his  father.  Some  children,  even  younger 
than  Daniel,  have  known  the  first  arrival  of  care, 
like  an  ominous  irremovable  guest  in  their  tender 
lives,  on  the  discovery  that  their  parents,  whom 
they  had  imagined  able  to  buy  everything,  were 
poor  and  in  hard  money  troubles.  Daniel  felt 
the  presence  of  a  new  guest  who  seemed  to  come 
with  an  enigmatic  veiled  face,  and  to  carry  dimly- 
conjectured,  dreaded  revelations.  The  ardour 
which  he  had  given  to  the  imaginary  world  in 
his  books  suddenly  rushed  towards  his  own  his- 
tory and  spent  its  pictorial  energy  there,  explain- 
ing what  he  knew,  representing  the  unknown. 
The  uncle  whom  he  loved  very  dearly  took  the 
aspect  of  a  father  who  held  secrets  about  him — 
who  had  done  him  a  wrong — yes,  a  wrong :  and 
what  had  become  of  his  mother,  from  whom  he 
must  have  been  taken  away?  —  Secrets  about 
which  he,  Daniel,  could  never  inquire;  for  to 
speak  or  be  spoken  to  about  these  new  thoughts 
seemed  like  falling  flakes  of  fire  to  his  imagina- 
tion. Those  who  have  known  an  impassioned 
childhood  will  understand  this  dread  of  utterance 
about  any  shame  connected  with  their  parents. 
The  impetuous  advent  of  new  images  took  pos- 
session of  him  with  the  force  of  fact  for  the  first 
time  told,  and  leit  him  no  immediate  power  for 


the  reflection  that  he  might  be  trembling  at  a 
fiction  of  his  own.  The  terrible  sense  of  collision 
between  a  strong  rush  of  feeling  and  the  dread  of 
its  betrayal,  found  relief  at  length  in  big  slow 
tears,  which  fell  without  restraint  until  the  voice 
of  Mr  Eraser  was  heard  saying — 

"  Daniel,  do  you  see  that  you  are  sitting  on  the 
bent  pages  of  your  book  ? " 

Daniel  immediately  moved  the  book  without 
turning  round,  and  after  holding  it  before  him  for 
an  instant,  rose  with  it  and  walked  away  into  the 
open  grounds,  where  he  could  dry  his  tears  un- 
observed. The  first  shock  of  suggestion  past,  he 
could  remember  that  he  had  no  certainty  how 
things  really  had  been,  and  that  he  had  been 
making  conjectures  about  his  own  history,  as  he 
had  often  made  stories  about  Pericles  or  Columbus, 
just  to  fill  up  the  blanks  before  they  became 
famous.  Only  there  came  back  certain  facts 
which  had  an  obstinate  reality, — almost  like  the 
fragments  of  a  bridge,  telling  you  unmistakably 
how  the  arches  lay.  And  again  there  came  a 
mood  in  which  his  conjectures  seemed  like  a 
doubt  of  religion,  to  be  banished  as  an  offence, 
and  a  mean  prying  after  what  he  was  not  meant 
to  know  ;  for  there  was  hardly  a  delicacy  of  feel- 
ing this  lad  was  not  capable  of.     But  the  summing 


up  of  all  his  fluctuating  experience  at  this  epoch 
was,  that  a  secret  impression  had  come  to  him 
which  had  given  him  something  like  a  new  sense 
in  relation  to  all  the  elements  of  his  life.  And 
the  idea  that  others  probably  knew  things  con- 
cerning him  which  they  did  not  choose  to  men- 
tion, and  which  he  would  not  have  had  them 
mention,  set  up  in  him  a  premature  reserve  which 
helped  to  intensify  his  inward  experience.  His 
ears  were  open  now  to  words  which  before  that 
July  day  would  have  passed  by  him  unnoted ;  and 
round  every  trivial  incident  which  imagination 
could  connect  with  his  suspicions,  a  newly-roused 
set  of  feelings  were  ready  to  cluster  themselves. 

One  such  incident  a  month  later  wrought  itself 
deeply  into  his  life.  Daniel  had  not  only  one  of 
those  thrilling  boy  voices  which  seem  to  bring 
an  idyllic  heaven  and  earth  before  our  eyes,  but 
a  fine  musical  instinct,  and  had  early  made  out 
accompaniments  for  himself  on  the  piano,  while  he 
sang  from  memory.  Since  then  he  had  had  some 
teaching,  and  Sir  Hugo,  who  delighted  in  the  boy, 
used  to  ask  for  his  music  in  the  presence  of  guests. 
One  morning  after  he  had  been  singing  "Sweet 
Echo  "  before  a  small  party  of  gentlemen  whom  the 
rain  had  kept  in  the  house,  the  baronet,  passing  from 
a  smiling  remark  to  his  next  neighbour,  said — 

VOL.  L  u 


"  Come  here,  Dan ! " 

The  boy  came  forward  with  unusual  reluctance. 
He  wore  an  embroidered  holland  blouse  which  set 
off  the  rich  colouring  of  his  head  and  throat,  and 
the  resistant  gravity  about  his  mouth  and  eyes  as 
he  was  being  smiled  upon,  made  their  beauty  the 
more  impressive.     Every  one  was  admiring  him. 

"What  do  you  say  to  being  a  great  singer? 
Should  you  like  to  be  adored  by  the  world  and 
take  the  house  by  storm,  like  Mario  and  Tam- 

Daniel  reddened  instantaneously,  but  there  was 
a  just  perceptible  interval  before  he  answered 
with  angry  decision — 

"No;  I  should  hate  it ! " 

"  Well,  well,  well !  "  said  Sir  Hugo,  with  sur- 
prised kindliness  intended  to  be  soothing.  But 
Daniel  turned  away  quickly,  left  the  room,  and 
going  to  his  own  chamber  threw  himself  on  the 
broad  window-sill,  which  was  a  favourite  retreat 
of  his  when  he  had  nothing  particular  to  do.  Here 
he  could  see  the  rain  gradually  subsiding  with 
gleams  through  the  parting  clouds  which  lit  up 
a  great  reach  of  the  park,  where  the  old  oaks  stood 
apart  from  each  other,  and  the  bordering  wood  was 
pierced  with  a  green  glade  which  met  the  eastern 
sky.   This  was  a  scene  which  had  always  been  part 


of  his  home — part  of  the  dignified  ease  which 
had  been  a  matter  of  course  in  his  life.  And  his 
ardent  clinging  nature  had  appropriated  it  all  with 
affection.  He  knew  a  great  deal  of  what  it  was  to 
be  a  gentleman  by  inheritance,  and  without  think- 
ing much  about  himself — for  he  was  a  boy  of 
active  perceptions  and  easily  forgot  his  own  ex- 
istence in  that  of  Eobert  Bruce — he  had  never 
supposed  that  he  could  be  shut  out  from  such  a 
lot,  or  have  a  very  different  part  in  the  world  from 
that  of  the  uncle  who  petted  him.  It  is  possible 
(though  not  greatly  believed  in  at  present)  to  be 
fond  of  poverty  and  take  it  for  a  bride,  to  prefer 
scoured  deal,  red  quarries,  and  whitewash  for  one's 
private  surroundings,  to  delight  in  no  splendour 
but  what  has  open  doors  for  the  whole  nation,  and 
to  glory  in  having  no  privilege  except  such  as 
nature  insists  on ;  and  noblemen  have  been  known 
to  run  away  from  elaborate  ease  and  the  option 
of  idleness,  that  they  might  bind  themselves  for 
small  pay  to  hard-handed  labour.  But  Daniel's 
tastes  were  altogether  in  keeping  with  his  nurture : 
his  disposition  was  one  in  which  everyday  scenes 
and  habits  beget  not  ennui  or  rebellion,  but  delight, 
affection,  aptitudes;  and  now  the  lad  had  been 
stung  to  the  quick  by  the  idea  that  his  uncle — 
perhaps  his  father — thought  of  a  career  for  him 


which  was  totally  unlike  his  own,  and  which  he 
knew  very  well  was  not  thought  of  among  possible 
destinations  for  the  sons  of  English  gentlemen. 
He  had  often  stayed  in  London  with  Sir  Hugo, 
who  to  indulge  the  boy's  ear  had  carried  him  to 
the  opera  to  hear  the  great  tenors,  so  that  the 
image  of  a  singer  taking  the  house  by  storm  was 
very  vivid  to  him ;  but  now,  spite  of  his  musical 
gift,  he  set  himself  bitterly  against  the  notion 
of  being  dressed  up  to  sing  before  all  those  fine 
people  who  would  not  care  about  him  except  as 
a  wonderful  toy.  That  Sir  Hugo  should  have 
thought  of  him  in  that  position  for  a  moment, 
seemed  to  Daniel  an  unmistakable  proof  that  there 
was  something  about  his  birth  which  threw  him 
out  from  the  class  of  gentlemen  to  which  the 
baronet  belonged.  Would  it  ever  be  mentioned 
to  him?  Would  the  time  come  when  his 
uncle  would  tell  him  everything?  He  shrank 
from  the  prospect :  in  his  imagination  he  pre- 
ferred ignorance.  If  his  father  had  been  wicked 
— Daniel  inwardly  used  strong  words,  for  he 
was  feeling  the  injury  done  him  as  a  maimed 
boy  feels  the  crushed  limb  which  for  others  is 
merely  reckoned  in  an  average  of  accidents — 
if  his  father  had  done  any  wrong,  he  wished  it 
might  never  be  spoken  of  to  him :  it  was  already  a 


cutting  thought  that  such  knowledge  might  be  in 
other  minds.  Was  it  in  Mr  Eraser's  ?  probably  not, 
else  he  would  not  have  spoken  in  that  way  about 
the  pope's  nephews :  Daniel  fancied,  as  older 
people  do,  that  every  one  else's  consciousness  was 
as  active  as  his  own  on  a  matter  which  was  vital 
to  him.  Did  Turvey  the  valet  know  ? — and  old 
Mrs  French  the  housekeeper? — and  Banks  the 
bailiff,  with  whom  he  had  ridden  about  the  farms 
on  his  pony  ? — And  now  there  came  back  the  re- 
collection of  a  day  some  years  before  when  he  was 
drinking  Mrs  Banks's  whey,  and  Banks  said  to 
his  wife  with  a  wink  and  a  cunning  laugh,  "  He 
features  the  mother,  eh?"  At  that  time  little 
Daniel  had  merely  thought  that  Banks  made  a 
silly  face,  as  the  common  farming  men  often  did — 
laughing  at  what  was  not  laughable ;  and  he  rather 
resented  being  winked  at  and  talked  of  as  if  he 
did  not  understand  everything.  But  now  that 
small  incident  became  information :  it  was  to  be 
reasoned  on.  How  could  he  be  like  his  mother 
and  not  like  his  father?  His  mother  must  have 
been  a  Malliuger,  if  Sir  Hugo  were  his  uncle. 
But  no !  His  father  might  have  been  Sir  Hugo's 
brother  and  have  changed  his  name,  as  Mr  Henleigh 
Mallinger  did  when  he  married  Miss  Grandcourt. 
But  then,  why  had  he  never  heard  Sir  Hugo  speak 


of  his  brother  Deronda,  as  he  spoke  of  his  brother 
Grandcourt?  Daniel  had  never  before  cared 
about  the  family  tree — only  about  that  ancestor 
who  had  killed  three  Saracens  in  one  encounter. 
But  now  his  mind  turned  to  a  cabinet  of  estate- 
maps  in  the  library,  where  he  had  once  seen  an 
illuminated  parchment  hanging  out,  that  Sir  Hugo 
said  was  the  family  tree.  The  phrase  was  new 
and  odd  to  him — he  was  a  little  fellow  then,  hardly 
more  than  half  his  present  age — and  he  gave  it  no 
precise  meaning.  He  knew  more  now  and  wished 
that  he  could  examine  that  parchment.  He  ima- 
gined that  the  cabinet  was  always  locked,  and 
longed  to  try  it.  But  here  he  checked  himself. 
He  might  be  seen ;  and  he  would  never  bring  him- 
self near  even  a  silent  admission  of  the  sore  that 
had  opened  in  him. 

It  is  in  such  experiences  of  boy  or  girlhood, 
while  elders  are  debating  whether  most  education 
lies  in  science  or  literature,  that  the  main  lines  of 
character  are  often  laid  down.  If  Daniel  had  been 
of  a  less  ardently  affectionate  nature,  the  reserve 
about  himself  and  the  supposition  that  others  had 
something  to  his  disadvantage  in  their  minds, 
might  have  turned  into  a  hard,  proud  antagonism. 
But  inborn  lovingness  was  strong  enough  to  keep 
itself  level  with  resentment.      There  was  hardly 


any  creature  in  his  habitual  world  that  he  was  not 
fond  of;  teasing  them  occasionally,  of  course — all 
except  his  uncle,  or  "Nunc,"  as  Sir  Hugo  had 
taught  him  to  say  ;  for  the  baronet  was  the  reverse 
of  a  strait-laced  man,  and  left  his  dignity  to  take 
care  of  itself.  Him  Daniel  loved  in  that  deep- 
rooted  filial  way  which  makes  children  always  the 
happier  for  being  in  the  same  room  with  father  or 
mother,  though  their  occupations  may  be  quite 
apart.  Sir  Hugo's  watch-chain  and  seals,  his  hand- 
writing, his  mode  of  smoking  and  of  talking  to  his 
dogs  and  horses,  had  all  a  rightness  and  charm 
about  them  to  the  boy  which  went  along  with  the 
happiness  of  morning  and  breakfast-time.  That 
Sir  Hugo  had  always  been  a  Whig,  made  Tories 
and  Eadicals  equally  opponents  of  the  truest  and 
best ;  and  the  books  he  had  written  were  all  seen 
under  the  same  consecration  of  loving  belief  which 
differenced  what  was  his  from  what  was  not  his, 
in  spite  of  general  resemblance.  Those  writings 
were  various,  from  volumes  of  travel  in  the  bril- 
liant style,  to  articles  on  things  in  general,  and 
pamphlets  on  political  crises  ;  but  to  Daniel  they 
were  alike  in  having  an  unquestionable  rightness 
by  which  other  people's  information  could  be  tested. 
Who  cannot  imagine  the  bitterness  of  a  first 
suspicion  that  something  in  this  object  of  com- 


plete  love  was  not  quite  right  ?  Children  demand 
that  their  heroes  should  be  fleckless,  and  easily 
believe  them  so  :  perhaps  a  first  discovery  to  the 
contrary  is  hardly  a  less  revolutionary  shock  to  a 
passionate  child  than  the  threatened  downfall  of 
habitual  beliefs  which  makes  the  world  seem  to 
totter  for  us  in  maturer  life. 

But  some  time  after  this  renewal  of  Daniel's 
agitation  it  appeared  that  Sir  Hugo  must  have 
been  making  a  merely  playful  experiment  in  his 
question  about  the  singing.  He  sent  for  Daniel 
into  the  library,  and  looking  up  from  his  writing 
as  the  boy  entered  threw  himself  sideways  in  his 
arm-chair.  "Ah,  Dan!"  he  said  kindly,  drawing 
one  of  the  old  embroidered  stools  close  to  him. 
"  Come  and  sit  down  here." 

Daniel  obeyed,  and  Sir  Hugo  put  a  gentle  hand 
on  his  shoulder,  looking  at  him  affectionately. 

"  What  is  it,  my  boy  ?  Have  you  heard  any- 
thing that  has  put  you  out  of  spirits  lately  ? " 

Daniel  was  determined  not  to  let  the  tears  come, 
but  he  could  not  speak. 

"All  changes  are  painful  when  people  have 
been  happy,  you  know,"  said  Sir  Hugo,  lifting  his 
hand  from  the  boy's  shoulder  to  his  dark  curls 
and  rubbing  them  gently.  "  You  can't  be  educated 
exactly  as  I  wish  you  to  be  without  our  parting. 


And  I  think  you  "will  find  a  great  deal  to  like  at 

This  was  not  what  Daniel  expected,  and  was  so 
far  a  relief,  which  gave  him  spirit  to  answer — 

"  Am  I  to  go  to  school  V 

"  Yes,  I  mean  you  to  go  to  Eton.  I  wish  you 
to  have  the  education  of  an  English  gentleman; 
and  for  that  it  is  necessary  that  you  should  go  to 
a  public  school  in  preparation  for  the  university : 
Cambridge  I  mean  you  to  go  to ;  it  was  my  own 

Daniel's  colour  came  and  went. 

"What  do  you  say,  sirrah?"  said  Sir  Hugo, 

"  I  should  like  to  be  a  gentleman,"  said  Daniel, 
with  firm  distinctness,  "  and  go  to  school,  if  that 
is  what  a  gentleman's  son  must  do." 

Sir  Hugo  watched  him  silently  for  a  few 
moments,  thinking  he  understood  now  why  the 
lad  had  seemed  angry  at  the  notion  of  becoming 
a  singer.     Then  he  said  tenderly — 

"And  so  you  won't  mind  about  leaving  your 
old  Nunc?" 

"  Yes,  I  shall,"  said  Daniel,  clasping  Sir  Hugo's 
caressing  arm  with  both  his  hands.  "  But  shan't 
I  come  home  and  be  with  you  in  the  holidays  ?" 

"  Oh  yes,  generally,"  said  Sir  Hugo.    "  But  now 


I  mean  you  to  go  at  once  to  a  new  tutor,  to  break 
the  change  for  you  before  you  go  to  Eton." 

After  this  interview  Daniel's  spirit  rose  again. 
He  was  meant  to  be  a  gentleman,  and  in  some 
unaccountable  way  it  might  be  that  his  conjec- 
tures were  all  wrong.  The  very  keenness  of  the 
lad  taught  him  to  find  comfort  in  his  ignorance. 
While  he  was  busying  his  mind  in  the  construc- 
tion of  possibilities,  it  became  plain  to  him  that 
there  must  be  possibilities  of  which  he  knew 
nothing.  He  left  off  brooding,  young  joy  and 
the  spirit  of  adventure  not  being  easily  quenched 
within  him,  and  in  the  interval  before  his  going 
away  he  sang  about  the  house,  danced  among  the 
old  servants,  making  them  parting  gifts,  and  in- 
sisted many  times  to  the  groom  on  the  care  that 
was  to  be  taken  of  the  black  pony. 

"Do  you  think  I  shall  know  much  less  than 
the  other  boys,  Mr  Fraser?"  said  Daniel.  It  was 
his  bent  to  think  that  every  stranger  would  be 
surprised  at  his  ignorance. 

"There  are  dunces  to  be  found  everywhere," 
said  the  judicious  Fraser.  "You'll  not  be  the 
biggest ;  but  you've  not  the  makings  of  a  Person 
in  you,  or  a  Leibnitz  either." 

"I  don't  want  to  be  a  Person  or  a  Leibnitz," 


said  Daniel.  "I  would  rather  be  a  greater  leader, 
like  Pericles  or  WasMngton." 

"  Ay,  ay ;  youVe  a  notion  they  did  with  little 
parsing,  and  less  algebra,"  said  Fraser.  But  in 
reality  he  thought  his  pupil  a  remarkable  lad,  to 
whom  one  thing  was  as  easy  as  another  if  he  had 
only  a  mind  to  it. 

Things  went  very  well  with  Daniel  in  his  new 
world,  except  that  a  boy  with  whom  he  was  at 
once  inclined  to  strike  up  a  close  friendship  talked 
to  him  a  great  deal  about  his  home  and  parents, 
and  seemed  to  expect  a  like  expansiveness  in 
return.  Daniel  immediately  shrank  into  reserve, 
and  this  experience  remained  a  check  on  his 
naturally  strong  bent  towards  the  formation  of 
intimate  friendships.  Every  one,  his  tutor  in- 
cluded, set  him  down  as  a  reserved  boy,  though 
he  was  so  good-humoured  and  unassuming,  as  well 
as  quick  both  at  study  and  sport,  that  nobody 
called  his  reserve  disagreeable.  Certainly  his  face 
had  a  great  deal  to  do  with  that  favourable  inter- 
pretation ;  but  in  this  instance  the  beauty  of  the 
closed  lips  told  no  falsehood. 

A  surprise  that  came  to  him  before  his  first 
vacation,  strengthened  the  silent  consciousness  of 
a  grief  within,  which  might  be  compared  in  some 


ways  with  Byron's  susceptibility  about  his  de- 
formed foot.  Sir  Hugo  wrote  word  that  he  was 
married  to  Miss  Eaymond,  a  sweet  lady  whom 
Daniel  must  remember  having  seen.  The  event 
would  make  no  difference  about  his  spending  the 
vacation  at  the  Abbey ;  he  would  find  Lady  Mal- 
linger  a  new  friend  whom  he  would  be  sure  to 
love, — and  much  more  to  the  usual  effect  when  a 
man,  having  done  something  agreeable  to  himself, 
is  disposed  to  congratulate  others  on  his  own 
good  fortune,  and  the  deducible  satisfactoriness  of 
events  in  general. 

Let  Sir  Hugo  be  partly  excused  until  the 
grounds  of  his  action  can  be  more  fully  known. 
The  mistakes  in  his  behaviour  to  Deronda  were 
due  to  that  dulness  towards  what  may  be  going 
on  in  other  minds,  especially  the  minds  of  chil- 
dren, which  is  among  the  commonest  deficiencies 
even  in  good-natured  men  like  him,  when  life  has 
been  generally  easy  to  themselves,  and  their  ener- 
gies have  been  quietly  spent  in  feeling  gratified. 
No  one  was  better  aware  than  he  that  Daniel  was 
generally  suspected  to  be  his  own  son.  But  he 
was  pleased  with  that  suspicion ;  and  his  imagina- 
tion had  never  once  been  troubled  with  the  way 
in  which  the  boy  himself  might  be  affected,  either 
then  or  in  the  future,  by  the  enigmatic  aspect  of 


his  circumstances.  He  was  as  fond  of  him  as  could 
he,  and  meant  the  hest  hy  him.  And  considering 
the  lightness  with  which  the  preparation  of  young 
lives  seems  to  lie  on  respectable  consciences,  Sir 
Hugo  Mallinger  can  hardly  be  held  open  to 
exceptional  reproach.  He  had  been  a  bachelor 
till  he  was  five-and-forty,  had  always  been  re- 
garded as  a  fascinating  man  of  elegant  tastes; 
what  could  be  more  natural,  even  according  to 
the  index  of  language,  than  that  he  should  have  a 
beautiful  boy  like  the  little  Deronda  to  take  care 
of?  The  mother  might  even  perhaps  be  in  the 
great  wx>rld — met  with  in  Sir  Hugo's  residences 
abroad.  The  only  person  to  feel  any  objection 
was  the  boy  himself,  who  could  not  have  been 
consulted.  And  the  boy's  objections  had  never 
been  dreamed  of  by  anybody  but  himself. 

By  the  time  Deronda  was  ready  to  go  to 
Cambridge,  Lady  Mallinger  had  already  three 
daughters — charming  babies,  all  three,  but  whose 
sex  was  announced  as  a  melancholy  alternative, 
the  offspring  desired  being  a  son :  if  Sir  Hugo  had 
no  son  the  succession  must  go  to  his  nephew 
Mallinger  Grandcourt.  Daniel  no  longer  held  a 
wavering  opinion  about  his  own  birth.  His  fuller 
knowledge  had  tended  to  convince  him  that  Sir 
Hugo  was  his  father,  and  he  conceived  that  the 


baronet,  since  lie  never  approached  a  communica- 
tion on  the  subject,  wished  him  to  have  a  tacit 
understanding  of  the  fact,  and  to  accept  in  silence 
what  would  be  generally  considered  more  than 
the  due  love  and  nurture.  Sir  Hugo's  marriage 
might  certainly  have  been  felt  as  a  new  ground  of 
resentment  by  some  youths  in  Deronda's  position, 
and  the  timid  Lady  Mallinger  with  her  fast-com- 
ing little  ones  might  have  been  images  to  scowl 
at,  as  likely  to  divert  much  that  was  disposable 
in  the  feelings  and  possessions  of  the  baronet  from 
one  who  felt  his  own  claim  to  be  prior.  But 
hatred  of  innocent  human  obstacles  was  a  form  of 
moral  stupidity  not  in  Deronda's  grain ;  even  the 
indignation  which  had  long  mingled  itself  with 
his  affection  for  Sir  Hugo  took  the  quality  of  pain 
rather  than  of  temper;  and  as  his  mind  ripened  to 
the  idea  of  tolerance  towards  error,  he  habitually 
linked  the  idea  with  his  own  silent  grievances. 

The  sense  of  an  entailed  disadvantage — the 
deformed  foot  doubtfully  hidden  by  the  shoe, 
makes  a  restlessly  active  spiritual  yeast,  and  easily 
turns  a  self-centred,  unloving  nature  into  an 
Ishmaelite.  But  in  the  rarer  sort,  who  presently 
see  their  own  frustrated  claim  as  one  among  a 
myriad,  the  inexorable  sorrow  takes  the  form  of 
fellowship  and   makes   the   imagination    tender. 


Deronda's  early  -  wakened  susceptibility,  charged 
at  first  with  ready  indignation  and  resistant  pride, 
had  raised  in  him  a  premature  reflection  on  cer- 
tain questions  of  life ;  it  had  given  a  bias  to  his 
conscience,  a  sympathy  with  certain  ills,  and  a 
tension  of  resolve  in  certain  directions,  which 
marked  him  off  from  other  youths  much  more  than 
any  talents  he  possessed. 

One  day  near  the  end  of  the  Long  Vacation, 
when  he  had  been  making  a  tour  in  the  Ehine- 
land  with  his  Eton  tutor,  and  was  come  for  a 
farewell  stay  at  the  Abbey  before  going  to  Cam- 
bridge, he  said  to  Sir  Hugo — 

"  What  do  you  intend  me  to  be,  sir  ? "  They 
were  in  the  library,  and  it  was  the  fresh  morning. 
Sir  Hugo  had  called  him  in  to  read  a  letter  from 
a  Cambridge  Pon  who  was  to  be  interested  in 
him;  and  since  the  baronet  wore  an  air  at  once 
business-like  and  leisurely,  the  moment  seemed 
propitious  for  entering  on  a  grave  subject  which 
had  never  yet  been  thoroughly  discussed. 

"Whatever  your  inclination  leads  you  to,  my 
boy.  I  thought  it  right  to  give  you  the  option  of 
the  army,  but  you  shut  the  door  on  that,  and  I 
was  glad.  I  don't  expect  you  to  choose  just  yet 
— by-and-by,  when  you  have  looked  about  you  a 
little  more  and  tried  your  mettle  among  older  men. 


The  university  has  a  good  wide  opening  into  the 
forum.  There  are  prizes  to  be  won,  and  a  bit  of 
good  fortune  often  gives  the  turn  to  a  man's 
taste.  From  what  I  see  and  hear,  I  should  think 
you  can  take  up  anything  you  like.  You  are  in 
deeper  water  with  your  classics  than  I  ever  got 
into,  and  if  you  are  rather  sick  of  that  swimming, 
Cambridge  is  the  place  where  you  can  go  into 
mathematics  with  a  will,  and  disport  yourself  on 
the  dry  sand  as  much  as  you  like.  I  floundered 
along  like  a  carp." 

"I  suppose  money  will  make  some  difference, 
sir,"  said  Daniel,  blushing.  "  I  shall  have  to  keep 
myself  by-and-by." 

"Not  exactly.  I  recommend  you  not  to  be 
extravagant — yes,  yes,  I  know — you  are  not  in- 
clined to  that ; — but  you  need  not  take  up  any- 
thing against  the  grain.  You  will  have  a  bachelor's 
income — enough  for  you  to  look  about  with. 
Perhaps  I  had  better  teU  you  that  you  may  con- 
sider yourself  secure  of  seven  hundred  a -year. 
You  might  make  yourself  a  barrister — be  a  writer 
— take  up  politics.  I  confess  that  is  what  would 
please  me  best.  I  should  like  to  have  you  at  my 
elbow  and  pulling  with  me." 

Deronda  looked  embarrassed.  He  felt  that 
he  ought  to  make  some  sign  of  gratitude,  but 

BOOK  11. — MEETING   STREAMS.  321 

other  feelings  clogged  his  tongue.  A  moment  was 
passing  by  in  which  a  question  about  his  birth 
was  throbbing  within  him,  and  yet  it  seemed  more 
impossible  than  ever  that  the  question  should  find 
vent — more  impossible  than  ever  that  he  could 
hear  certain  things  from  Sir  Hugo's  lips.  The 
liberal  way  in  which  he  was  dealt  with  was  the 
more  striking  because  the  baronet  had  of  late 
cared  particularly  for  money,  and  for  making  the 
utmost  of  his  life-interest  in  the  estate  by  way  of 
providing  for  his  daughters ;  and  as  all  this  flashed 
through  Daniel's  mind  it  was  momentarily  within 
his  imagination  that  the  provision  for  him  might 
come  in  some  way  from  his  mother.  But  such 
vaporous  conjecture  passed  away  as  quickly  as  it 

Sir  Hugo  appeared  not  to  notice  anything  pecu- 
liar in  Daniel's  manner,  and  presently  went  on  with 
his  usual  chatty  liveliness. 

"I'm  glad  you  have  done  some  good  reading 
outside  your  classics,  and  have  got  a  grip  of  French 
and  German.  The  truth  is,  unless  a  man  can  get 
the  prestige  and  income  of  a  Don  and  write 
donnish  books,  it's  hardly  worth  while  for  him.  to 
make  a  Greek  and  Latin  machine  of  himself  and 
be  able  to  spin  you  out  pages  of  the  Greek 
dramatists  at  any  verse  you'll  give  him  as  a  cue. 

VOL.  I.  X 


That's  all  very  fine,  but  in  practical  life  nobody 
does  give  you  the  cue  for  pages  of  Greek.  In 
fact  it's  a  nicety  of  conversation  which  I  would 
have  you  attend  to  —  much  quotation  of  any 
sort,  even  in  English,  is  bad.  It  tends  to  choke 
ordinary  remark.  One  couldn't  carry  on  life  com- 
fortably without  a  little  blindness  to  the  fact  that 
everything  has  been  said  better  than  we  can  put 
it  ourselves.  But  talking  of  Dons,  I  have  seen 
Dons  make  a  capital  figure  in  society ;  and  occa- 
sionally he  can  shoot  you  down  a  cartload  of 
learning  in  the  right  place,  which  will  tell  in 
politics.  Such  men  are  wanted ;  and  if  you  have 
any  turn  for  being  a  Don,  I  say  nothing  against 

"  I  think  there's  not  much  chance  of  that. 
Quicksett  and  Puller  are  both  stronger  than  I  am. 
I  hope  you  will  not  be  much  disappointed  if  I 
don't  come  out  with  high  honours." 

"No,  no.  I  should  like  you  to  do  yourself 
credit,  but  for  God's  sake  don't  come  out  as  a 
superior  expensive  kind  of  idiot,  like  young 
Brecon,  who  got  a  Double  First,  and  has  been 
learning  to  knit  braces  ever  since.  What  I  wish 
you  to  get  is  a  passport  in  life.  I  don't  go  against 
our  university  system :  we  want  a  little  disin- 
terested culture  to  make  head  against  cotton  and 


capital,  especially  in  the  House.  My  Greek  has 
all  evaporated :  if  I  had  to  construe  a  verse  on  a 
sudden,  I  should  get  an  apoplectic  fit.  But  it 
formed  my  taste.  I  daresay  my  English  is  the 
better  for  it." 

On  this  point  Daniel  kept  a  respectful  silence. 
The  enthusiastic  belief  in  Sir  Hugo's  writings  as 
a  standard,  and  in  the  Whigs  as  the  chosen  race 
among  politicians,  had  gradually  vanished  along 
with  the  seraphic  boy's  face.  He  had  not  been 
the  hardest  of  workers  at  Eton.  Though  some 
kinds  of  study  and  reading  came  as  easily  as  boat- 
ing to  him,  he  was  not  of  the  material  that  usu- 
ally makes  the  first-rate  Eton  scholar.  There  had 
sprung  up  in  him  a  meditative  yearning  after 
wide  knowledge  which  is  likely  always  to  abate 
ardour  in  the  fight  for  prize  acquirement  in  nar- 
row tracks.  Happily  he  was  modest,  and  took  any 
second-rateness  in  himself  simply  as  a  fact,  not 
as  a  marvel  necessarily  to  be  accounted  for  by  a 
superiority.  Still  Mr  Eraser's  high  opinion  of  the 
lad  had  not  been  altogether  belied  by  the  youth : 
Daniel  had  the  stamp  of  rarity  in  a  subdued  fer- 
vour of  sympathy,  an  activity  of  imagination  on 
behalf  of  others,  which  did  not  show  itself  effu- 
sively, but  was  continually  seen  in  acts  of  consid- 
erateness   that  struck  his  companions   as  moral 


eccentricity.  "  Deronda  would  have  been  first- 
rate  if  he  had  had  more  ambition" — was  a  frequent 
remark  about  him.  But  how  could  a  fellow  push 
his  way  properly  when  he  objected  to  swop  for 
his  own  advantage,  knocked  under  by  choice 
when  he  was  within  an  inch  of  victory,  and,  un- 
like the  great  Clive,  would  rather  be  the  calf 
than  the  butcher  ?  It  was  a  mistake,  however,  to 
suppose  that  Deronda  had  not  his  share  of  ambi- 
tion :  we  know  he  had  suffered  keenly  from  the 
belief  that  there  was  a  tinge  of  dishonour  in  his 
lot ;  but  there  are  some  cases,  and  his  was  one  of 
them,  in  which  the  sense  of  injury  breeds — not 
the  will  to  inflict  injuries  and  climb  over  them 
as  a  ladder,  but — a  hatred  of  all  injury.  He  had 
his  flashes  of  fierceness,  and  could  hit  out  upon 
occasion,  but  the  occasions  were  not  always  what 
might  have  been  expected.  For  in  what  related 
to  himself  his  resentful  impulses  had  been  early 
checked  by  a  mastering  affectionateness.  Love 
has  a  habit  of  saying  "  Never  mind  "  to  angry  self, 
who,  sitting  down  for  the  nonce  in  the  lower  place, 
by-and-by  gets  used  to  it.  So  it  was  that  as 
Deronda  approached  manhood  his  feeling  for  Sir 
Hugo,  while  it  was  getting  more  and  more  mixed 
with  criticism,  was  gaining  in  that  sort  of  allow- 
ance which  reconciles  criticism  with  tenderness. 


The  dear  old  beautiful  home  and  everything  with- 
in it,  Lady  Mallinger  and  her  little  ones  included, 
were  consecrated  for  the  youth  as  they  had  been 
for  the  boy — only  with  a  certain  difference  of  light 
on  the  objects.  The  altar-piece  was  no  longer 
miraculously  perfect,  painted  under  infallible 
guidance,  but  the  human  hand  discerned  in  the 
work  was  appealing  to  a  reverent  tenderness  safer 
from  the  gusts  of  discovery.  Certainly  Deronda's 
ambition,  even  in  his  spring-time,  lay  exception- 
ally aloof  from  conspicuous,  vulgar  triumph,  and 
from  other  ugly  forms  of  boyish  energy  ;  perhaps 
because  he  was  early  impassioned  by  ideas,  and 
burned  his  fire  on  those  heights.  One  may  spend 
a  good  deal  of  energy  in  disliking  and  resisting 
what  others  pursue,  and  a  boy  who  is  fond  of 
somebody  else's  pencil-case  may  not  be  more 
energetic  than  another  who  is  fond  of  giving  his 
own  pencil-case  away.  Still,  it  was  not  Deronda's 
disposition  to  escape  from  ugly  scenes:  he  was 
more  inclined  to  sit  through  them  and  take  care 
of  the  fellow  least  able  to  take  care  of  himself. 
It  had  helped  to  make  him  popular  that  he  was 
sometimes  a  little  compromised  by  this  apparent 
comradeship.  For  a  meditative  interest  in  learn- 
ing how  human  miseries  are  wrought — as  preco- 
cious in  him  as  another  sort  of  genius  in  the  poet 


who  writes  a  Queen  Mab  at  nineteen — was  so  in- 
fused with  kindliness  that  it  easily  passed  for  com- 
radeship. Enough.  In  many  of  our  neighbours' 
lives,  there  is  much  not  only  of  error  and  lapse, 
but  of  a  certain  exquisite  goodness  which  can 
never  be  written  or  even  spoken — only  divined 
by  each  of  us,  according  to  the  inward  instruc- 
tion of  our  own  privacy. 

The  impression  he  made  at  Cambridge  corre- 
sponded to  his  position  at  Eton.  Every  one  in- 
terested in  him  agreed  that  he  might  have  taken 
a  high  place  if  his  motives  had  been  of  a  more 
pushing  sort,  and  if  he  had  not,  instead  of  regard- 
ing studies  as  instruments  of  success,  hampered 
himself  with  the  notion  that  they  were  to  feed 
motive  and  opinion  —  a  notion  which  set  him 
criticising  methods  and  arguing  against  his  freight 
and  harness  when  he  should  have  been  using  all 
his  might  to  pull.  In  the  beginning  his  work  at 
the  university  had  a  new  zest  for  him  :  indifferent 
to  the  continuation  of  the  Eton  classical  drill,  he 
applied  himself  vigorously  to  mathematics,  for 
which  he  had  shown  an  early  aptitude  under  Mr 
Eraser,  and  he  had  the  delight  of  feeling  his 
strength  in  a  comparatively  fresh  exercise  of 
thought.  That  delight,  and  the  favourable  opinion 
of  his  tutor,  determined  him  to  try  for  a  mathe- 


matical  scholarship  in  the  Easter  of  his  second 
year:  he  wished  to  gratify  Sir  Hugo  by  some 
achievement,  and  the  study  of  the  higher  mathe- 
matics, having  the  growing  fascination  inherent 
in  all  thinking  which  demands  intensity,  was 
making  him  a  more  exclusive  worker  than  he 
had  been  before. 

But  here  came  the  old  check  which  had  been 
growing  with  his  growth.  He  found  the  inward 
bent  towards  comprehension  and  thoroughness 
diverging  more  and  more  from  the  track  marked 
out  by  the  standards  of  examination :  he  felt  a 
heightening  discontent  with  the  wearing  futility 
and  enfeebling  strain  of  a  demand  for  excessive 
retention  and  dexterity  without  any  insight  into 
the  principles  which  form  the  vital  connections 
of  knowledge.  (Deronda's  undergraduateship  oc- 
curred fifteen  years  ago,  when  the  perfection  of 
our  university  methods  was  not  yet  indisputable.) 
In  hours  when  his  dissatisfaction  was  strong  upon 
him  he  reproached  himself  for  having  been  at- 
tracted by  the  conventional  advantage  of  belonging 
to  an  English  university,  and  was  tempted  to- 
wards the  project  of  asking  Sir  Hugo  to  let  him 
quit  Cambridge  and  pursue  a  more  independent 
line  of  study  abroad.  The  germs  of  this  inclina- 
tion had  been  already  stirring  in  his  boyish  love 


of  universal  history,  which  made  him  want  to  be 
at  home  in  foreign  countries,  and  follow  in  ima- 
gination the  travelling  students  of  the  middle 
ages.  He  longed  now  to  have  the  sort  of  appren- 
ticeship to  life  which  would  not  shape  him  too 
definitely,  and  rob  him  of  the  choice  that  might 
come  from  a  free  growth.  One  sees  that  Deronda's 
demerits  were  likely  to  be  on  the  side  of  reflective 
hesitation,  and  this  tendency  was  encouraged  by 
his  position :  there  was  no  need  for  him  to  get 
an  immediate  income,  or  to  fit  himself  in  haste 
for  a  profession ;  and  his  sensibility  to  the  half- 
known  facts  of  his  parentage  made  him  an  excuse 
for  lingering  longer  than  others  in  a  state  of  social 
neutrality.  Other  men,  he  inwardly  said,  had  a 
more  definite  place  and  duties.  But  the  project 
which  flattered  his  inclination  might  not  have  gone 
beyond  the  stage  of  ineff'ective  brooding,  if  certain 
circumstances  had  not  quickened  it  into  action. 

The  circumstances  arose  out  of  an  enthusiastic 
friendship  which  extended  into  his  after  -  life. 
Of  the  same  year  with  himself,  and  occupying 
small  rooms  close  to  his,  was  a  youth  who  had 
come  as  an  exhibitioner  from  Christ's  •  Hospital, 
and  had  eccentricities  enough  for  a  Charles  Lamb. 
Only  to  look  at  his  pinched  features  and  blond 
hair  hanging  over  his  coUar  reminded  one  of  pale 


quaint  heads  by  early  German  painters ;  and  when 
this  faint  colouring  was  lit  up  by  a  joke,  there 
came  sudden  creases  about  the  mouth  and  eyes 
which  might  have  been  moulded  by  the  soul  of 
an  aged  humorist.  His  father,  an  engraver  of 
some  distinction,  had  been  dead  eleven  years,  and 
his  mother  had  three  girls  to  educate  and  main- 
tain on  a  meagre  annuity.  Hans  Meyrick — he 
had  been  daringly  christened  after  Holbein — felt 
himself  the  pillar,  or  rather  the  knotted  and  twisted 
trunk,  round  which  these  feeble  climbing  plants 
must  cling.  There  was  no  want  of  ability  or  of 
honest  well-meaning  affection  to  make  the  prop 
trustworthy :  the  ease  and  quickness  with  which 
he  studied  might  serve  him  to  win  prizes  at  Cam- 
bridge, as  he  had  done  among  the  Blue  Coats,  in 
spite  of  irregularities.  The  only  danger  was,  that 
the  incalculable  tendencies  in  him  might  be  fa- 
tally timed,  and  that  his  good  intentions  might  be 
frustrated  by  some  act  which  was  not  due  to  habit 
but  to  capricious,  scattered  impulses.  He  could 
not  be  said  to  have  any  one  bad  habit;  yet  at 
longer  or  shorter  intervals  he  had  fits  of  impish 
recklessness,  and  did  things  that  would  have 
made  the  worst  habits. 

Hans  in  his  right  mind,  however,  was  a  lov- 
able creature,  and  in  Deronda  he  had  happened  to 


find  a  friend  who  was  likely  to  stand  by  him  with 
the  more  constancy,  from  compassion  for  these 
brief  aberrations  that  might  bring  a  long  re- 
pentance. Hans,  indeed,  shared  Deronda's  rooms 
nearly  as  much  as  he  used  his  own :  to  Deronda 
he  poured  himself  out  on  his  studies,  his  affairs, 
his  hopes ;  the  poverty  of  his  home,  and  his  love 
for  the  creatures  there  ;  the  itching  of  his  fingers 
to  draw,  and  his  determination  to  fight  it  away 
for  the  sake  of  getting  some  sort  of  plum  that  he 
might  divide  with  his  mother  and  the  girls.  He 
wanted  no  confidence  in  return,  but  seemed  to 
take  Deronda  as  an  Olympian  who  needed  noth- 
ing— an  egotism  in  friendship  which  is  common 
enough  with  mercurial,  expansive  natures.  De- 
ronda was  content,  and  gave  Meyrick  all  the  in- 
terest he  claimed,  getting  at  last  a  brotherly 
anxiety  about  him,  looking  after  him  in  his  er- 
ratic moments,  and  contriving  by  adroitly  deli- 
cate devices  not  only  to  make  up  for  his  friend's 
lack  of  pence,  but  to  save  him  from  threatening 
chances.  Such  friendship  easily  becomes  tender : 
the  one  spreads  strong  sheltering  wings  that  de- 
light in  spreading,  the  other  gets  the  warm  pro- 
tection which  is  also  a  delight.  Meyrick  was 
going  in  for  a  classical  scholarship,  and  his  suc- 
cess, in  various  ways  momentous,  was  the  more 


probable  from  the  steadying  influence  of  Deronda's 

But  an  imprudence  of  Meyrick's,  committed 
at  the  beginning  of  the  autumn  term,  threatened 
to  disappoint  his  hopes.  With  his  usual  alter- 
nation between  unnecessary  expense  and  self- 
privation,  he  had  given  too  much  money  for  an 
old  engraving  which  fascinated  him,  and  to  make 
up  for  it,  had  come  from  London  in  a  third-class 
carriage  with  his  eyes  exposed  to  a  bitter  wind 
and  any  irritating  particles  the  wind  might  drive 
before  it.  The  consequence  was  a  severe  inflam- 
mation of  the  eyes,  which  for  some  time  hung 
over  him  the  threat  of  a  lasting  injury.  This 
crushing  trouble  called  out  all  Deronda's  readi- 
ness to  devote  himself,  and  he  made  every  other 
occupation  secondary  to  that  of  being  companion 
and  eyes  to  Hans,  working  with  him  and  for  him 
at  his  classics,  that  if  possible  his  chance  of  the 
classical  scholarship  might  be  saved.  Hans,  to 
keep  the  knowledge  of  his  suffering  from  his 
mother  and  sisters,  alleged  his  work  as  a  reason 
for  passing  the  Christmas  at  Cambridge,  and  his 
friend  stayed  up  with  him. 

Meanwhile  Deronda  relaxed  his  hold  on  his 
mathematics,  and  Hans,  reflecting  on  this,  at 
length  said,  "  Old  fellow,  while  you  are  hoisting 


me  you  are  risking  yourself.  With  your  mathe- 
matical cram  one  may  be  like  Moses  or  Mahomet 
or  somebody  of  that  sort  who  had  to  cram,  and 
forgot  in  one  day  what  it  had  taken  him  forty  to 

Deronda  would  not  admit  that  he  cared  about 
the  risk,  and  he  had  really  been  beguiled  into  a 
little  indifference  by  double  sympathy:  he  was 
very  anxious  that  Hans  should  not  miss  the 
much-needed  scholarship,  and  he  felt  a  revival 
of  interest  in  the  old  studies.  Still,  when  Hans, 
rather  late  in  the  day,  got  able  to  use  his  own 
eyes,  Deronda  had  tenacity  enough  to  try  hard 
and  recover  his  lost  ground.  He  failed,  however ; 
but  he  had  the  satisfaction  of  seeing  Meyrick  win. 

Success,  as  a  sort  of  beginning  that  urged  com- 
pletion, might  have  reconciled  Deronda  to  his 
university  course ;  but  the  emptiness  of  all  things, 
from  politics  to  pastimes,  is  never  so  striking  to 
us  as  when  we  fail  in  them.  The  loss  of  the  per- 
sonal triumph  had  no  severity  for  him,  but  the 
sense  of  having  spent  his  time  ineffectively  in 
a  mode  of  working  which  had  been  against  the 
grain,  gave  him  a  distaste  for  any  renewal  of  the 
process,  which  turned  his  imagined  project  of 
quitting  Cambridge  into  a  serious  intention.  In 
speaking  of  his  intention  to  Meyrick  he  made  it 


appear  that  he  was  glad  of  the  turn  events  had 
taken — glad  to  have  the  balance  dip  decidedly, 
and  feel  freed  from  his  hesitations;  but  he  ob- 
served that  he  must  of  course  submit  to  any 
strong  objection  on  the  part  of  Sir  Hugo. 

Meyrick's  joy  and  gratitude  were  disturbed 
by  much  uneasiness.  He  believed  in  Deronda's 
alleged  preference,  but  he  felt  keenly  that  in 
serving  him  Daniel  had  placed  himself  at  a  dis- 
advantage in  Sir  Hugo's  opinion,  and  he  said 
mournfully,  "  If  you  had  got  the  scholarship,  Sir 
Hugo  would  have  thought  that  you  asked  to  leave 
us  with  a  better  grace.  You  have  spoilt  your  luck 
for  my  sake,  and  I  can  do  nothing  to  mend  it." 

"  Yes,  you  can ;  you  are  to  be  a  first-rate  fellow. 
I  call  that  a  first-rate  investment  of  my  luck." 

"  Oh,  confound  it !  You  save  an  ugly  mongrel 
from  drowning,  and  expect  him  to  cut  a  fine 
figure.  The  poets  have  made  tragedies  enough 
about  signing  one's  self  over  to  wickedness  for 
the  sake  of  getting  something  plummy ;  I  shall 
write  a  tragedy  of  a  fellow  who  signed  himself 
over  to  be  good,  and  was  uncomfortable  ever 

But  Hans  lost  no  time  in  secretly  writing  the 
history  of  the  affair  to  Sir  Hugo,  making  it  plain 
that  but  for  Deronda's  generous  devotion  he  could 


hardly  have  failed  to  win  the  prize  he  had  been 
working  for. 

The  two  friends  went  up  to  town  together: 
Meyrick  to  rejoice  with  his  mother  and  the  girls 
in  their  little  home  at  Chelsea ;  Deronda  to  carry 
out  the  less  easy  task  of  opening  his  mind  to  Sir 
Hugo.  He  relied  a  little  on  the  baronet's  general 
tolerance  of  eccentricities,  but  he  expected  more 
opposition  than  he  met  with.  He  was  received 
with  even  warmer  kindness  than  usual,  the  fail- 
ure was  passed  over  lightly,  and  when  he  detailed 
his  reasons  for  wishing  to  quit  the  university 
and  go  to  study  abroad,  Sir  Hugo  sat  for  some 
time  in  a  silence  which  was  rather  meditative 
than  surprised.  At  last  he  said,  looking  at  Daniel 
with  examination,  "  So  you  don't  want  to  be  an 
Englishman  to  the  backbone  after  all  ? " 

"  I  want  to  be  an  Englishman,  but  I  want  to 
understand  other  points  of  view.  And  I  want  to 
get  rid  of  a  merely  English  attitude  in  studies." 

"  I  see ;  you  don't  want  to  be  turned  out  in 
the  same  mould  as  every  other  youngster.  And 
I  have  nothing  to  say  against  your  doffing  some 
of  our  national  prejudices.  I  feel  the  better  my- 
self for  having  spent  a  good  deal  of  my  time 
abroad.  But,  for  God's  sake,  keep  an  English 
cut,  and  don't  become  indifferent  to  bad  tobacco ! 


And — my  dear  boy — it  is  good  to  be  unselfish  and 
generous;  but  don't  carry  that  too  far.  It  will 
not  do  to  give  yourself  to  be  melted  down  for 
the  benefit  of  the  tallow-trade ;  you  must  know 
where  to  find  yourself.  However,  I  shall  put  no 
veto  on  your  going.  Wait  until  I  can  get  off 
Committee,  and  I'll  run  over  with  you." 

So  Deronda  went  according  to  his  will.  But 
not  before  he  had  spent  some  hours  with  Hans 
Meyrick,  and  been  introduced  to  the  mother  and 
sisters  in  the  Chelsea  home.  The  shy  girls  watched 
and  registered  every  look  of  their  brother's 
friend,  declared  by  Hans  to  have  been  the  sal- 
vation of  him,  a  fellow  like  nobody  else,  and,  in 
fine,  a  brick.  They  so  thoroughly  accepted  De- 
ronda as  an  ideal,  that  when  he  was  gone  the 
youngest  set  to  work,  under  the  criticism  of  the 
two  elder  girls,  to  paint  him  as  Prince  Camaral- 



"  This  is  true  the  poet  sings. 
That  a  sorrow's  crown  of  sorrow 
Is  remembering  happier  things." 

— Tennyson  :  In  Memoriam. 

On  a  fine  evening  near  the  end  of  July,  Deronda 
was  rowing  himself  on  the  Thames.  It  was 
already  a  year  or  more  since  he  had  come  back  to 
England,  with  the  understanding  that  his  educa- 
tion was  finished,  and  that  he  was  somehow  to 
take  his  place  in  English  society;  but  though, 
in  deference  to  Sir  Hugo's  wish,  and  to  fence  off 
idleness,  he  had  begun  to  read  law,  this  apparent 
decision  had  been  without  other  result  than  to 
deepen  the  roots  of  indecision.  His  old  love  of 
boating  had  revived  with  the  more  force  now  that 
he  was  in  town  with  the  Mallingers,  because  he 
could  nowhere  else  get  the  same  still  seclusion 
which  the  river  gave  him.  He  had  a  boat  of  his 
own  at  Putney,  and  whenever  Sir  Hugo  did  not 
want  him,  it  was  his  chief  holiday  to  row  till  past 


sunset  and  come  in  again  with  the  stars.  Not 
that  he  was  in  a  sentimental  stage ;  but  he  was  in 
another  sort  of  contemplative  mood  perhaps  more 
common  in  the  young  men  of  our  day — that  of 
questioning  whether  it  were  worth  while  to  take 
part  in  the  battle  of  the  world :  I  mean,  of  course, 
the  young  men  in  whom  the  unproductive  labour 
of  questioning  is  sustained  by  three  or  five  per 
cent  on  capital  which  somebody  else  has  battled 
for.  It  puzzled  Sir  Hugo  that  one  who  made  a 
splendid  contrast  with  all  that  was  sickly  and 
puling  should  be  hampered  with  ideas  which, 
since  they  left  an  accomplished  Whig  like  him- 
self unobstructed,  could  be  no  better  than  spectral 
illusions ;  especially  as  Deronda  set  himself  against 
authorship — a  vocation  which  is  understood  to 
turn  foolish  thinking  into  funds. 

Eowing  in  his  dark-blue  shirt  and  skull-cap, 
his  curls  closely  clipped,  his  mouth  beset  with 
abundant  soft  waves  of  beard,  he  bore  only  dis- 
guised traces  of  the  seraphic  boy  "  trailing  clouds 
of  glory."  Still,  even  one  who  had  never  seen 
him  since  his  boyhood  might  have  looked  at  him 
with  slow  recognition,  due  perhaps  to  the  pecu- 
liarity of  the  gaze  which  Gwendolen  chose  to 
call  "  dreadful,"  though  it  had  really  a  very  mild 
sort  of  scrutiny.     The  voice,  sometimes  audible  in 

VOL.  I.  Y 


subdued  snatches  of  song,  had  turned  out  merely 
a  high  barytone ;  indeed,  only  to  look  at  his  lithe 
powerful  frame  and  the  firm  gravity  of  his  face 
would  have  been  enough  for  an  experienced  guess 
that  he  had  no  rare  and  ravishing  tenor  such  as 
nature  reluctantly  makes  at  some  sacrifice.  Look 
at  his  hands  :  they  are  not  small  and  dimpled, 
with  tapering  fingers  that  seem  to  have  only  a 
deprecating  touch  :  they  are  long,  flexible,  firmly- 
grasping  hands,  such  as  Titian  has  painted  in  a 
picture  where  he  wanted  to  show  the  combination 
of  refinement  with  force.  And  there  is  something 
of  a  likeness,  too,  between  the  faces  belonging  to 
the  hands — in  both  the  uniform  pale-brown  skin, 
the  perpendicular  brow,  the  calmly  penetrating 
eyes.  Not  seraphic  any  longer :  thoroughly  ter- 
restrial and  manly;  but  still  of  a  kind  to  raise 
belief  in  a  human  dignity  which  can  afford  to 
acknowledge  poor  relations. 

Such  types  meet  us  here  and  there  among 
average  conditions;  in  a  workman,  for  example, 
whistling  over  a  bit  of  measurement  and  lifting 
his  eyes  to  answer  our  question  about  the  road. 
And  often  the  grand  meanings  of  faces  as  well  as 
of  written  words  may  lie  chiefly  in  the  impressions 
of  those  who  look  on  them.  But  it  is  precisely 
such  impressions  that  happen  just  now  to  be  of 


importance  in  relation  to  Deronda,  rowing  on  the 
Thames  in  a  very  ordinary  equipment  for  a  young 
Englishman  at  leisure,  and  passing  under  Kew 
Bridge  with  no  thought  of  an  adventure  in  which 
his  appearance  was  likely  to  play  any  part.  In 
fact,  he  objected  very  strongly  to  the  notion,  which 
others  had  not  allowed  him  to  escape,  that  his 
appearance  was  of  a  kind  to  draw  attention ;  and 
hints  of  this,  intended  to  be  complimentary,  found 
an  angry  resonance  in  him,  coming  from  mingled 
experiences,  to  which  a  clue  has  already  been 
given.  His  own  face  in  the  glass  had  during 
many  years  been  associated  for  him  with  thoughts 
of  some  one  whom  he  must  be  like — one  about 
whose  character  and  lot  he  continually  wondered, 
and  never  dared  to  ask. 

In  the  neighbourhood  of  Kew  Bridge,  between 
six  and  seven  o'clock,  the  river  was  no  solitude. 
Several  persons  were  sauntering  on  the  towing- 
path,  and  here  and  there  a  boat  was  plying. 
Deronda  had  been  rowing  fast  to  get  over  this 
spot,  when,  becoming  aware  of  a  great  barge  ad- 
vancing towards  him,  he  guided  his  boat  aside,  and 
rested  on  his  oar  within  a  couple  of  yards  of  the 
river-brink.  He  was  all  the  while  unconsciously 
continuing  the  low -toned  chant  which  had 
haunted  his  throat  all  the  way  up  the  river — the 


gondolier's  song  in  the  '  Otello/  where  Eossini 
has  worthily  set  to  music  the  immortal  words  of 
Dante — 

"  Nessun  maggior  dolore 
Che  ricordarsi  del  tempo  felice 
Nella  miseria  : "  * 

and,  as  he  rested  on  his  oar,  the  pianissimo  fall  of 
the  melodic  wail  "nella  miseria"  was  distinctly- 
audible  on  the  brink  of  the  water.  Three  or  four 
persons  had  paused  at  various  spots  to  watch  the 
barge  passing  the  bridge,  and  doubtless  included 
in  their  notice  the  youiig  gentleman  in  the  boat ; 
but  probably  it  was  only  to  one  ear  that  the  low 
vocal  sounds  came  with  more  significance  than  if 
they  had  been  an  insect  murmur  amidst  the  sum 
of  current  noises.  Deronda,  awaiting  the  barge, 
now  turned  his  head  to  the  river-side,  and  saw  at 
a  few  yards*  distance  from  him  a  figure  which 
might  have  been  an  impersonation  of  the  misery 
he  was  unconsciously  giving  voice  to:  a  girl 
hardly  more  than  eighteen,  of  low  slim  figure, 
with  most  delicate  little  face,  her  dark  curls 
pushed  behind  her  ears  under  a  large  black  hat, 
a  long  woollen  cloak  over  her  shoulders.  Her 
hands  were  hanging  down  clasped  before  her,  and 

*  Dante's  words  are  best  rendered  by  our  own  poet  in  the  lines 
at  the  head  of  the  chapter. 


her  eyes  were  fixed  on  the  river  with  a  look 
of  immovable,  statue-like  despair.  This  strong 
arrest  of  his  attention  made  him  cease  singing : 
apparently  his  voice  had  entered  her  inner  world 
without  her  having  taken  any  note  of  whence  it 
came,  for  when  it  suddenly  ceased  she  changed 
her  attitude  slightly,  and,  looking  round  with  a 
frightened  glance,  met  Deronda's  face.  It  was 
but  a  couple  of  moments,  but  that  seems  a  long 
while  for  two  people  to  look  straight  at  each 
other.  Her  look  was  something  like  that  of  a 
fawn  or  other  gentle  animal  before  it  turns  to 
run  away:  no  blush,  no  special  alarm,  but  only 
some  timidity  which  yet  could  not  hinder  her 
from  a  long  look  before  she  turned.  In  fact,  it 
seemed  to  Deronda  that  she  was  only  half-con- 
scious of  her  surroundings:  was  she  hungry,  or 
was  there  some  other  cause  of  bewilderment  ? 
He  felt  an  outleap  of  interest  and  compassion 
towards  her ;  but  the  next  instant  she  had  turned 
and  walked  away  to  a  neighbouring  bench  under 
a  tree.  He  had  no  right  to  linger  and  watch  her : 
poorly-dressed,  melancholy  women  are  common 
sights ;  it  was  only  the  delicate  beauty,  the  pic- 
turesque lines  and  colour  of  the  image  that  were 
exceptional,  and  these  conditions  made  it  the 
more  markedly  impossibly  that  he  should  obtrude 


his  interest  upon  her.  He  began  to  row  away, 
and  was  soon  far  up  the  river;  but  no  other 
thoughts  were  busy  enough  quite  to  expel  that 
pale  image  of  unhappy  girlhood.  He  fell  again 
and  again  to  speculating  on  the  probable  romance 
that  lay  behind  that  loneliness  and  look  of  desola- 
tion ;  then  to  smile  at  his  own  share  in  the  pre- 
judice that  interesting  faces  must  have  interesting 
adventures ;  then  to  justify  himself  for  feeling 
that  sorrow  was  the  more  tragic  when  it  befeU 
delicate,  childlike  beauty. 

"  I  should  not  have  forgotten  the  look  of  mis- 
ery if  she  had  been  ugly  and  vulgar,"  he  said  to 
himself.  But  there  was  no  denying  that  the  at- 
tractiveness of  the  image  made  it  likelier  to  last. 
It  was  clear  to  him  as  an  onyx  cameo :  the 
brown-black  drapery,  the  white  face  with  small, 
small  features  and  dark,  long-lashed  eyes.  His 
mind  glanced  over  the  girl  -  tragedies  that  are 
going  on  in  the  world,  hidden,  unheeded,  as  if 
they  were  but  tragedies  of  the  copse  or  hedgerow, 
where  the  helpless  drag  wounded  wings  for- 
sakenly,  and  streak  the  shadowed  moss  with  the 
red  moment-hand  of  their  own  death.  Deronda 
of  late,  in  his  solitary  excursions,  had  been  occu- 
pied chiefly  with  uncertainties  about  his  own 
course;  but  those  uncertainties,  being  much  at 


their  leisure,  were  wont  to  have  such  wide-sweep- 
ing connections  with  all  life  and  history  that  the 
new  image  of  helpless  sorrow  easily  blent  itself 
with  what  seemed  to  him  the  strong  array  of  rea- 
sons why  he  should  shrink  from  getting  into  that 
routine  of  the  world  which  makes  men  apologise 
for  all  its  wrong-doing,  and  take  opinions  as  mere 
professional  equipment — why  he  should  not  draw 
strongly  at  any  thread  in  the  hopelessly-entangled 
scheme  of  things. 

He  used  his  oars  little,  satisfied  to  go  with  the 
tide  and  be  taken  back  by  it.  It  was  his  habit  to 
indulge  himself  in  that  solemn  passivity  which 
easily  comes  with  the  lengthening  shadows  and 
mellowing  light,  when  thinking  and  desiring  melt 
together  imperceptibly,  and  what  in  other  hours 
may  have  seemed  argument  takes  the  quality  of 
passionate  vision.  By  the  time  he  had  come  back 
again  with  the  tide  past  Richmond  Bridge  the  sun 
was  near  setting;  and  the  approach  of  his  favourite 
hour — ^with  its  deepening  stillness,  and  darkening 
masses  of  tree  and  building  between  the  double 
glow  of  the  sky  and  the  river — disposed  him  to 
linger  as  if  they  had  been  an  unfinished  strain  of 
music.  He  looked  out  for  a  perfectly  solitary  spot 
where  he  could  lodge  his  boat  against  the  bank, 
and,  throwing  himself  on  his  back  with  his  head 


propped  on  the  cushions,  could  watch  out  the  light 
of  sunset  and  the  opening  of  that  bead-roll  which 
some  oriental  poet  describes  as  God's  call  to  the 
little  stars,  who  each  answer,  "  Here  am  I."  He 
chose  a  spot  in  the  bend  of  the  river  just  opposite 
Kew  Gardens,  where  he  had  a  great  breadth  of 
water  before  him  reflecting  the  glory  of  the  sky, 
while  he  himself  was  in  shadow.  He  lay  with  his 
hands  behind  his  head  propped  on  a  level  with 
the  boat's  edge,  so  that  he  could  see  all  around 
him,  but  could  not  be  seen  by  any  one  at  a  few 
yards'  distance;  and  for  a  long  while  he  never 
turned  his  eyes  from  the  view  right  in  front  of 
him.  He  was  forgetting  everything  else  in  a  half- 
speculative,  half-involuntary  identification  of  him- 
self with  the  objects  he  was  looking  at,  thinking 
how  far  it  might  be  possible  habitually  to  shift 
his  centre  till  his  own  personality  would  be  no 
less  outside  him  than  the  landscape, — when  the 
sense  of  something  moving  on  the  bank  opposite 
him  where  it  was  bordered  by  a  line  of  willow- 
bushes,  made  him  turn  his  glance  thitherward. 
In  the  first  moment  he  had  a  darting  presentiment 
about  the  moving  figure ;  and  now  he  could  see 
the  small  face  with  the  strange  dying  sunlight 
upon  it.  He  feared  to  frighten  her  by  a  sudden 
movement,  and  watched  her  with  motionless  at- 
tention.    She  looked  round,  but  seemed  only  to 


gather  security  from  the  apparent  solitude,  hid 
her  hat  among  the  willows,  and  immediately  took 
off  her  woollen  cloak.  Presently  she  seated  her- 
self and  deliberately  dipped  the  cloak  in  the 
water,  holding  it  there  a  little  while,  then  taking 
it  out  with  effort,  rising  from  her  seat  as  she  did 
so.  By  this  time  Deronda  felt  sure  that  she 
meant  to  wrap  the  wet  cloak  round  her  as  a 
drowning-shroud ;  there  was  no  longer  time  to 
hesitate  about  frightening  her.  He  rose  and 
seized  his  oar  to  ply  across ;  happily  her  position 
lay  a  little  below  him.  The  poor  thing,  overcome 
with  terror  at  this  sign  of  discovery  from  the  op- 
posite bank,  sank  down  on  the  brink  again,  hold- 
ing her  cloak  but  half  out  of  the  water.  She 
crouched  and  covered  her  face  as  if  she  kept  a 
faint  hope  that  she  had  not  been  seen,  and  that 
the  boatman  was  accidentally  coming  towards  her. 
But  soon  he  was  within  brief  space  of  her,  steady- 
ing his  boat  against  the  bank,  and  speaking,  but 
very  gently — 

"  Don't  be  afraid.  .  .  .  You  are  unhappy.  .  .  . 
Pray,  trust  me.  .  .  .  Tell  me  what  I  can  do  to 
help  you." 

She  raised  her  head  and  looked  up  at  him.  His 
face  now  was  towards  the  light,  and  she  knew  it 
again.  But  she  did  not  speak  for  a  few  moments 
which  were  a  renewal  of  their  former  gaze  at  each 


other.  At  last  she  said  in  a  low  sweet  voice,  with 
an  accent  so  distinct  that  it  suggested  foreignness 
and  yet  was  not  foreign,  "  I  saw  you  before ; " 
.  .  .  and  then  added,  dreamily,  after  a  like  pause, 
"  nella  miseria." 

Deronda,  not  understanding  the  connection  of 
her  thought,  supposed  that  her  mind  was  weak- 
ened by  distress  and  hunger. 

"  It  was  you,  singing  ? "  she  went  on,  hesita- 
tingly— "  Nessun  maggior  dolore."  .  .  .  The  mere 
words  themselves  uttered  in  her  sweet  undertones 
seemed  to  give  the  melody  to  Deronda's  ear. 

"  Ah,  yes,"  he  said,  understanding  now,  "  I  am 
often  singing  them.  But  I  fear  you  will  injure 
yourself  staying  here.  Pray  let  me  carry  you 
in  my  boat  to  some  place  of  safety.  And  that 
wet  cloak — ^let  me  take  it." 

He  would  not  attempt  to  take  it  without  her 
leave,  dreading  lest  he  should  scare  her.  Even  at 
his  words,  he  fancied  that  she  shrank  and  clutched 
the  cloak  more  tenaciously.  But  her  eyes  were 
fixed  on  him  with  a  question  in  them  as  she  said, 
"You  look  good.    Perhaps  it  is  God's  command." 

"  Do  trust  me.  Let  me  help  you.  I  will  die 
before  I  will  let  any  harm  come  to  you." 

She  rose  from  her  sitting  posture,  first  dragging 
the   saturated  cloak  and  then  letting  it  fall  on 


the  ground — it  was  too  heavy  for  her  tired  arma 
Her  little  woman's  figure  as  she  laid  her  delicate 
chilled  hands  together  one  over  the  other  against 
her  waist,  and  went  a  step  backward  while  she 
leaned  her  head  forward  as  if  not  to  lose  her  sight 
of  his  face,  was  unspeakably  touching. 

"  Great  God ! "  the  words  escaped  Deronda  in  a 
tone  so  low  and  solemn  that  they  seemed  like  a 
prayer  become  unconsciously  vocal.  The  agitating 
impression  this  forsaken  girl  was  making  on  him 
stirred  a  fibre  that  lay  close  to  his  deepest  interest 
in  the  fates  of  women — "  perhaps  my  mother  was 
like  this  one."  The  old  thought  had  come  now 
with  a  new  impetus  of  mingled  feeling,  and  urged 
that  exclamation  in  which  both  East  and  West 
have  for  ages  concentrated  their  awe  in  the  pre- 
sence of  inexorable  calamity. 

The  low-toned  words  seemed  to  have  some 
reassurance  in  them  for  the  hearer :  she  stepped 
forward  close  to  the  boat's  side,  and  Deronda 
put  out  his  hand,  hoping  now  that  she  would  let 
him  help  her  in.  She  had  already  put  her  tiny 
hand  into  his  which  closed  round  it,  when  some 
new  thought  struck  her,  and  drawing  back  she 
said — 

"I  have  nowhere  to  go — nobody  belonging  to 
me  in  all  this  land." 


"  I  will  take  you  to  a  lady  who  has  daughters," 
said  Deronda,  immediately.  He  felt  a  sort  of 
relief  in  gathering  that  the  wretched  home  and 
cruel  friends  he  imagined  her  to  be  fleeing 
from  were  not  in  the  near  background.  Still 
she  hesitated,  and  said  more  timidly  than 
ever — 

"  Do  you  belong  to  the  theatre  ? " 

"  No ;  I  have  nothing  to  do  with  the  theatre," 
said  Deronda,  in  a  decided  tone.  Then  beseech- 
ingly, "  I  will  put  you  in  perfect  safety  at  once ; 
with  a  lady,  a  good  woman ;  T  am  sure  she  will  be 
kind.  Let  us  lose  no  time :  you  will  make  your- 
self ill.  Life  may  still  become  sweet  to  you. 
There  are  good  people — there  are  good  women 
who  will  take  care  of  you." 

She  drew  backward  no  more,  but  stepped  in 
easily,  as  if  she  were  used  to  such  action,  and  sat 
down  on  the  cushions. 

"  You  had  a  covering  for  your  head,"  said  De- 

"My  hat?"  (she  lifted  up  her  hands  to  her 
head.)     "  It  is  quite  hidden  in  the  bush." 

"  I  will  find  it,"  said  Deronda,  putting  out  his 
hand  deprecatingly  as  she  attempted  to  rise.  "  The 
boat  is  fixed." 

He  jumped  out,  found  the  hat,  and  lifted  up  the 


saturated  cloak,  wringing  it  and  throwing  it  into 
the  bottom  of  the  boat. 

"  We  must  carry  the  cloak  away,  to  prevent  any 
one  who  may  have  noticed  you  from  thinking  you 
have  been  drowned,"  he  said  cheerfully,  as  he  got 
in  again  and  presented  the  old  hat  to  her.  "  I 
wish  I  had  any  other  garment  than  my  coat  to 
offer  you.  But  shall  you  mind  throwing  it  over 
your  shoulders  while  we  are  on  the  water?  It 
is  quite  an  ordinary  thing  to  do,  when  people 
return  late  and  are  not  enough  provided  with 
wraps."  He  held  out  the  coat  towards  her  with 
a  smile,  and  there  came  a  faint  melancholy 
smile  in  answer,  as  she  took  it  and  put  it  on 
very  cleverly. 

"  I  have  some  biscuits — should  you  like  them  ? " 
said  Deronda. 

"  No ;  I  cannot  eat.  I  had  still  some  money 
left  to  buy  bread." 

He  began  to  ply  his  oar  without  further  remark, 
and  they  went  along  swiftly  for  many  minutes 
without  speaking.  She  did  not  look  at  him,  but 
was  watching  the  oar,  leaning  forward  in  an  atti- 
tude of  repose,  as  if  she  were  beginning  to  feel  the 
comfort  of  returning  warmth  and  the  prospect  of 
life  instead  of  death.  The  twilight  was  deepening ; 
the  red  flush  was  all  gone  and  the  little  stars  were 


giving  their  answer  one  after  another.  The  moon 
was  rising,  but  was  still  entangled  among  trees 
and  buildings.  The  light  was  not  such  that  he 
could  distinctly  discern  the  expression  of  her  fea- 
tures or  her  glance,  but  they  were  distinctly  be- 
fore him  nevertheless — features  and  a  glance  which 
seemed  to  have  given  a  fuller  meaning  for  him  to 
the  human  face.  Among  his  anxieties  one  was 
dominant :  his  first  impression  about  her,  that  her 
mind  might  be  disordered,  had  not  been  quite  dis- 
sipated :  the  project  of  suicide  was  unmistakable, 
and  gave  a  deeper  colour  to  every  other  suspicious 
sign.  He  longed  to  begin  a  conversation,  but  ab- 
stained, wishing  to  encourage  the  confidence  that 
might  induce  her  to  speak  first.  At  last  she  did 

"  I  like  to  listen  to  the  oar." 

"  So  do  I." 

"  If  you  had  not  come,  I  should  have  been  dead 



"  I  cannot  bear  you  to  speak  of  that.  I  hope 
you  will  never  be  sorry  that  I  came." 

"  I  cannot  see  how  I  shall  be  glad  to  live.  The 
maggior  dolore  and  the  miseria  have  lasted  longer 
than  the  tem'po  felice."  She  paused  and  then  went 
on  dreamily, — "Dolore — miseria — I  ihink  those 
words  are  alive." 


Deronda  was  mute :  to  question  her  seemed  an 
unwarrantable  freedom ;  he  shrank  from  appear- 
ing to  claim  the  authority  of  a  benefactor,  or  to 
treat  her  with  the  less  reverence  because  she  was 
in  distress.     She  went  on,  musingly — 

"  I  thought  it  was  not  wicked.  Death  and  life 
are  one  before  the  Eternal.  I  know  our  fathers 
slew  their  children  and  then  slew  themselves,  to 
keep  their  souls  pure.  I  meant  it  so.  But  now  I 
am  commanded  to  live.  I  cannot  see  how  I  shall 

"You  will  find  friends.  I  will  find  them  for 

She  shook  her  head  and  said  mournfully,  "  Not 
my  mother  and  brother.     I  cannot  find  them." 

"You  are  English?  You  must  be — speaking 
English  so  perfectly." 

She  did  not  answer  immediately,  but  looked  at 
Deronda  again,  straining  to  see  him  in  the  doubt- 
ful light.  Until  now  she  had  been  watching  the 
oar.  It  seemed  as  if  she  were  half  roused,  and 
wondered  which  part  of  her  impressions  was 
dreaming  and  which  waking.  Sorrowful  isolation 
had  benumbed  her  sense  of  ir^ality,  and  the  power 
of  distinguishing  outward  and  inward  was  continu- 
ally slipping  away  from  her.  Her  look  was  full  of 
wdndering  timidity,  such  as  the  forsaken  one  in 


the  desert  might  have  lifted  to  the  angelic  vision 
before  she  knew  whether  his  message  were  in 
anger  or  in  pity. 

"You  want  to  know  if  I  am  English?"  she  said 
at  last,  while  Deronda  was  reddening  nervously 
under  a  gaze  which  he  felt  more  fully  than  he  saw. 

"  I  want  to  know  nothing  except  what  you  like 
to  tell  me/'  he  said,  still  uneasy  in  the  fear  that 
her  mind  was  wandering.  "  Perhaps  it  is  not  good 
for  you  to  talk." 

"  Yes,  I  will  tell  you.  I  am  English-born.  But 
I  am  a  Jewess." 

Deronda  was  silent,  inwardly  wondering  that  he 
had  not  said  this  to  himself  before,  though  any  one 
who  had  seen  delicate-faced  Spanish  girls  might 
simply  have  guessed  her  to  be  Spanish. 

"  Do  you  despise  me  for  it  ? "  she  said  presently 
in  low  tones,  which  had  a  sadness  that  pierced 
like  a  cry  from  a  small  dumb  creature  in  fear. 

"  Why  should  I  ? "  said  Deronda.  "  I  am  not 
so  foolish." 

"  I  know  many  Jews  are  bad." 

"So  are  many  Christians.  But  I  should  not 
think  it  fair  for  you  to  despise  me  because  of  that." 

"My  mother  and  brother  were  good.  But  I 
shall  never  find  them.  I  am  come  a  long  way — 
from  abroad.     I  ran  away  ;  but  I  cannot  tell  you 


T— I  cannot  speak  of  it.  I  thought  I  might  find 
my  mother  again — God  would  guide  me.  But 
then  I  despaired.  This  morning  when  the  light 
came,  I  felt  as  if  one  word  kept  sounding  within 
me — Never !   never  1      But  now  —  I  begin  —  to 

think "  her  words  were  broken  by  rising  sobs 

—  "I  am  commanded  to  live  —  perhaps  we  are 
going  to  her." 

With  an  outburst  of  weeping  she  buried  her 
head  on  her  knees.  He  hoped  that  this  passion- 
ate weeping  might  relieve  her  excitement.  Mean- 
while he  was  inwardly  picturing  in  much  embar- 
rassment how  he  should  present  himself  with  her 
in  Park  Lane — the  course  which  he  had  at  first 
unreflectingly  determined  on.  No  one  kinder 
and  more  gentle  than  Lady  Mallinger ;  but  it  was 
hardly  probable  that  she  would  be  at  home ;  and 
he  had  a  shuddering  sense  of  a  lackey  staring  at 
this  delicate,  sorrowful  image  of  womanhood — of 
glaring  lights  and  fine  staircases,  and  perhaps 
chilling  suspicious  manners  from  lady's-maid  and 
housekeeper,  that  might  scare  the  mind  already  in 
a  state  of  dangerous  susceptibility.  But  to  take 
her  to  any  other  shelter  than  a  home  already 
known  to  him  was  not  to  be  contemplated:  he 
was  full  of  fears  about  the  issue  of  the  adventure 
which  had  brought  on  him  a  responsibility  all  the 

VOL.  I.  Z 


heavier  for  the  strong  and  agitating  impression 
this  childlike  creature  had  made  on  him.  But 
another  resource  came  to  mind  :  he  could  venture 
to  take  her  to  Mrs  Meyrick's — to  the  small  home  at 
Chelsea,  where  he  had  been  often  enough  since  his 
return  from  abroad  to  feel  sure  that  he  could 
appeal  there  to  generous  hearts,  which  had  a  ro- 
mantic readiness  to  believe  in  innocent  need  and 
to  help  it.  Hans  Meyrick  was  safe  away  in  Italy, 
and  Deronda  felt  the  comfort  of  presenting  him- 
self with  his  charge  at  a  house  where  he  would  be 
met  by  a  motherly  figure  of  quakerish  neatness, 
and  three  girls  who  hardly  knew  of  any  evil  closer 
to  them  than  what  lay  in  history  books  and  dra- 
mas, and  would  at  once  associate  a  lovely  Jewess 
with  Eebecca  in  '  Ivanhoe,'  besides  thinking  that 
everything  they  did  at  Deronda's  request  would 
be  done  for  their  idol,  Hans.  The  vision  of  the 
Chelsea  home  once  raised,  Deronda  uo  longer 

The  rumbling  thither  in  the  cab  after  the  still- 
ness of  the  water  seemed  long.  Happily  his 
charge  had  been  quiet  since  her  fit  of  weeping, 
and  submitted  like  a  tired  child.  When  they 
were  in  the  cab,  she  laid  down  her  hat  and  tried 
to  rest  her  head,  but  the  jolting  movement  would 
not  let  it  rest ;  still  she  dozed,  and  her  sweet 


head  hung  helpless  first  on  one  side,  then  on 
the  other. 

"They  are  too  good  to  have  any  fear  about 
taking  her  in,"  thought  Deronda.  Her  person, 
her  voice,  her  exquisite  utterance,  were  one  strong 
appeal  to  belief  and  tenderness.  Yet  what  had 
been  the  history  which  had  brought  her  to  this 
desolation  ?  He  was  going  on  a  strange  errand — 
to  ask  shelter  for  this  waif.  Then  there  occurred 
to  him  the  beautiful  story  Plutarch  somewhere 
tells  of  the  Delphic  women:  how  when  the 
Msenads,  outworn  with  their  torch-lit  wander- 
ings, lay  down  to  sleep  in  the  market-place,  the 
matrons  came  and  stood  silently  round  them 
to  keep  guard  over  their  slumbers  ;  then,  when 
they  waked,  ministered  to  them  tenderly  and  saw 
them  safely  to  their  own  borders.  He  could  trust 
the  women  he  was  going  to  for  having  hearts  as 

Deronda  felt  himself  growing  older  this  evening 
and  entering  on  a  new  phase  in  finding  a  life  to 
which  his  own  had  come — perhaps  as  a  rescue;  but 
how  to  make  sure  that  snatching  from  death  was 
rescue  ?  The  moment  of  finding  a  fellow-creature 
is  often  as  full  of  mingled  doubt  and  exultation 
as  the  moment  of  finding  an  idea. 



Life  is  a  various  mother  :  now  she  dons 

Her  plumes  and  briUiauts,  climbs  the  marble  stairs 

With  head  aloft,  nor  ever  turns  her  eyes 

On  lackeys  who  attend  her ;  now  she  dwells 

Grim-clad  up  darksome  alleys,  breathes  hot  gin, 

And  screams  in  pauper  riot. 

But  to  these 
She  came  a  frugal  matron,  neat  and  deft, 
"With  cheerful  morning  thoughts  and  quick  device 
To  find  the  much  in  little. 

Mrs  Meyeick'S  house  was  not  noisy :  the  front 
parlour  looked  on  the  river,  and  the  back  on 
gardens,  so  that  though  she  was  reading  aloud 
to  her  daughters,  the  window  could  be  left  open 
to  freshen  the  air  of  the  small  double  room  where 
a  lamp  and  two  candles  were  burning.  The 
candles  were  on  a  table  apart  for  Kate,  who  was 
drawing  illustrations  for  a  publisher ;  the  lamp 
was  not  only  for  the  reader  but  for  Amy  and  Mab, 
who  were  embroidering  satin  cushions  for  "the 
great  world." 

Outside,  the   house   looked  very  narrow  and 


shabby,  the  bright  light  through  the  holland  blind 
showing  the  heavy  old-fashioned  window-frame  ; 
but  it  is  pleasant  to  know  that  many  such  grim- 
walled  slices  of  space  in  our  foggy  London  have 
been,  and  still  are  the  homes  of  a  culture  the 
more  spotlessly  free  from  vulgarity,  because  poverty 
has  rendered  everything  like  display  an  imper- 
sonal question,  and  all  the  grand  shows  of  the 
world  simply  a  spectacle  which  rouses  no  petty 
rivalry  or  vain  effort  after  possession. 

The  Meyricks'  was  a  home  of  that  kind ;  and 
they  all  clung  to  this  particular  house  in  a  row 
because  its  interior  was  filled  with  objects  always 
in  the  same  places,  which  for  the  mother  held 
memories  of  her  marriage  time,  and  for  the  young 
ones  seemed  as  necessary  and  uncriticised  a  part 
of  their  world  as  the  stars  of  the  Great  Bear  seen 
from  the  back  windows.  Mrs  Meyrick  had  borne 
much  stint  of  other  matters  that  she  might  be 
able  to  keep  some  engravings  specially  cherished 
by  her  husband ;  and  the  narrow  spaces  of  wall 
held  a  world-history  in  scenes  and  heads  which 
the  children  had  early  learned  by  heart.  The 
chairs  and  tables  were  also  old  friends  preferred 
to  new.  But  in  these  two  little  parlours  with 
no  furniture  that  a  broker  would  have  cared  to 
cheapen  except  the  prints  and  piano,  there  was 


space  and  apparatus  for  a  wide-glancing,  nicely- 
select  life,  open  to  the  highest  things  in  music, 
painting,  and  poetry.  I  am  not  sure  that  in  the 
times  of  greatest  scarcity,  before  Kate  could  get 
paid  work,  these  ladies  had  always  had  a  servant 
to  light  their  fires  and  sweep  their  rooms;  yet 
they  were  fastidious  in  some  points,  and  could 
not  believe  that  the  manners  of  ladies  in  the 
fashionable  world  were  so  full  of  coarse  selfish- 
ness, petty  quarrelling,  and  slang  as  they  are  repre- 
sented to  be  in  what  are  called  literary  photo- 
graphs. The  Meyricks  had  their  little  oddities, 
streaks  of  eccentricity  from  the  mother's  blood 
as  well  as  the  father's,  their  minds  being  like 
mediaeval  houses  with  unexpected  recesses  and 
openings  from  this  into  that,  flights  of  steps  and 
sudden  outlooks. 

But  mother  and  daughters  were  all  united  by 
a  triple  bond  —  family  love;  admiration  for  the 
finest  work,  the  best  action;  and  habitual  in- 
dustry. Hans's  desire  to  spend  some  of  his  money 
in  making  their  lives  more  luxurious  had  been 
resisted  by  all  of  them,  and  both  they  and  he  had 
been  thus  saved  from  regrets  at  the  threatened 
triumph  of  his  yearning  for  art  over  the  attractions 
of  secured  income — a  triumph  that  would  by-and- 
by  oblige  him  to  give  up  his  fellowship.    They 


could  all  afford  to  laugh  at  his  Gavarni-carica- 
tures  and  to  hold  him  blameless  in  following  a 
natural  bent  which  their  unselfishness  and  in- 
dependence had  left  without  obstacle.  It  was 
enough  for  them  to  go  on  in  their  old  way,  only 
having  a  grand  treat  of  opera-going  (to  the  gal- 
lery) when  Hans  came  home  on  a  visit. 

Seeing  the  group  they  made  this  evening,  one 
could  hardly  wish  them  to  change  their  way  of 
life.  They  were  all  alike  small,  and  so  in  due  pro- 
portion with  their  miniature  rooms.  Mrs  Mey- 
rick  was  reading  aloud  from  a  French  book :  she 
was  a  lively  little  woman,  half  French,  half  Scotch, 
with  a  pretty  articulateness  of  speech  that  seemed 
to  make  daylight  in  her  hearer's  understanding. 
Though  she  was  not  yet  fifty,  her  rippling  hair, 
covered  by  a  quakerish  net  cap,  was  chiefly  grey, 
but  her  eyebrows  were  brown  as  the  bright  eyes 
below  them ;  her  black  dress,  almost  like  a  priest's 
cassock  with  its  row  of  buttons,  suited  a  neat 
figure  hardly  five  feet  high.  The  daughters  were 
to  match  the  mother,  except  that  Mab  had  Hans's 
light  hair  and  complexion,  with  a  bossy  irregular 
brow  and  other  quaintnesses  that  reminded  one 
of  him.  Everything  about  them  was  compact, 
from  the  firm  coils  of  their  hair,  fastened  back  d 
la  Chinoise,  to  their  grey  skirts  in  puritan  non- 


conformity  with  the  fashion,  which  at  that  time 
would  have  demanded  that  four  feminine  circum- 
ferences should  fill  all  the  free  space  in  the  front 
parlour.  All  four,  if  they  had  been  w^ax-work, 
might  have  been  packed  easily  in  a  fashionable 
lady's  travelling  trunk.  Their  faces  seemed  full 
of  speech,  as  if  their  minds  had  been  shelled, 
after  the  manner  of  horse-chestnuts,  and  become 
brightly  visible.  The  only  large  thing  of  its  kind 
in  the  room  was  Hafiz,  the  Persian  cat,  comfort- 
ably poised  on  the  brown  leather  back  of  a 
chair,  and  opening  his  large  eyes  now  and  then 
to  see  that  the  lower  animals  were  not  in  any 

The  book  Mrs  Meyrick  had  before  her  was 
Erckmann-Chatrian's  Histoire  d'un  Consent.  She 
had  just  finished  reading  it  aloud,  and  Mab,  who 
had  let  her  work  fall  on  the  ground  while  she 
stretched  her  head  forward  and  fixed  her  eyes 
on  the  reader,  exclaimed — 

"  I  think  that  is  the  finest  story  in  the  world." 

"  Of  course,  Mab ! "  said  Amy,  "  it  is  the  last 
you  have  heard.  Everything  that  pleases  you  is 
the  best  in-  its  turn." 

"  It  is  hardly  to  be  called  a  story,"  said  Kate. 
''It  is  a  bit  of  history  brought  near  us  with  a 
strong  telescope.     We  can  see  the  soldier's  faces : 


no,  it  is  more  than  that — we  can  hear  everything 
— we  can  almost  hear  their  hearts  beat." 

"I  don't  care  what  you  call  it,"  said  Mab, 
flirting  away  her  thimble.  "  Call  it  a  chapter  in 
Eevelations.  It  makes  me  want  to  do  something 
good,  something  grand.  It  makes  me  so  sorry  for 
everybody.  It  makes  me  like  Schiller — I  want 
to  take  the  world  in  my  arms  and  kiss  it.  I  must 
kiss  you  instead,  little  mother  1 "  She  threw  her 
arms  round  her  mother's  neck. 

"  Whenever  you  are  in  that  mood,  Mab,  down 
goes  your  work,"  said  Amy.  "  It  would  be  doing 
something  good  to  finish  your  cushion  without 
soiling  it." 

"Oh — oh — oh!"  groaned  Mab,  as  she  stooped 
to  pick  up  her  work  and  thimble.  "  I  wish  I  had 
three  wounded  conscripts  to  take  care  of" 

"  You  would  spin  their  beef-tea  while  you  were 
talking,"  said  Amy. 

"  Poor  Mab !  don't  be  hard  on  her,"  said  the 
mother.  "Give  me  the  embroidery  now,  child. 
You  go  on  with  your  enthusiasm,  and  I  will  go 
on  with  the  pink  and  white  poppy." 

"  Well,  ma,  I  think  you  are  more  caustic  than 
Amy,"  said  Kate,  while  she  drew  her  head  back 
to  look  at  her  drawing. 

"  Oh — oh — oh  ! "  cried  Mab  again,  rising  and 


stretching  her  arms.  "  I  wish  something  wonder- 
ful would  happen.  I  feel  like  the  deluge.  The 
waters  of  the  great  deep  are  broken  up,  and  the 
windows  of  heaven  are  opened.  I  must  sit  down 
and  play  the  scales." 

Mab  was  opening  the  piano  while  the  others 
were  laughing  at  this  climax,  when  a  cab  stopped 
before  the  house,  and  there  forthwith  came  a  quick 
rap  of  the  knocker. 

"Dear  me!"  said  Mrs  Meyrick,  starting  up, 
"  it  is  after  ten,  and  Phoebe  is  gone  to  bed."  She 
hastened  out,  leaving  the  parlour  door  open. 

"Mr  Deronda!"  The  girls  could  hear  this 
exclamation  from  their  mamma.  Mab  clasped 
her  hands,  saying  in  a  loud  whisper,  "There 
now!  something  is  going  to  happen;"  Kate 
and  Amy  gave  up  their  work  in  amazement. 
But  Deronda's  tone  in  reply  was  so  low  that 
they  could  not  hear  his  words,  and  Mrs  Meyrick 
immediately  closed  the  parlour  door. 

"  I  know  I  am  trusting  to  your  goodness  in  a 
most  extraordinary  way,"  Deronda  went  on,  after 
giving  his  brief  narrative,  "  but  you  can  imagine 
how  helpless  I  feel  with  a  young  creature  like 
this  on  my  hands.  I  could  not  go  with  her 
among  strangers,  and  in  her  nervous  state  I 
should  dread  taking  her  into  a  house  full  of 


servants.  I  have  trusted  to  your  mercy.  I  hope 
you  will  not  think  my  act  unwarrantable." 

"  On  the  contrary.  You  have  honoured  me  by 
trusting  me.  I  see  your  difficulty.  Pray  bring 
her  in.     I  will  go  and  prepare  the  girls." 

While  Deronda  went  back  to  the  cab,  Mrs 
Mejrrick  turned  into  the  parlour  again  and  said, 
"  Here  is  somebody  to  take  care  of  instead  of  your 
wounded  conscripts,  Mab  :  a  poor  girl  who  was 
going  to  drown  herself  in  despair.  Mr  Deronda 
found  her  only  just  in  time  to  save  her.  He  brought 
her  along  in  his  boat,  and  did  not  know  what  else 
it  would  be  safe  to  do  with  her,  so  he  has  trusted  us 
and  brought  her  here.  It  seems  she  is  a  Jewess,  but 
quite  refined,  he  says — knowing  Italian  and  music." 

The  three  girls,  wondering  and  expectant,  came 
forward  and  stood  near  each  other  in  mute  con- 
fidence that  ihey  were  all  feeling  alike  under  this 
appeal  to  their  compassion.  Mab  looked  rather 
awe-stricken,  as  if  this  answer  to  her  wish  were 
something  preternatural 

Meanwhile  Deronda  going  to  the  door  of  the 
cab  where  the  pale  face  was  now  gazing  out  with 
roused  observation,  said,  "  I  have  brought  you  to 
some  of  the  kindest  people  in  the  world:  there 
are  daughters  like  you.  It  is  a  happy  home. 
Will  you  let  me  take  you  to  them?" 


She  stepped  out  obediently,  putting  her  hand 
in  his  and  forgetting  her  hat ;  and  when  Deronda 
led  her  into  the  full  light  of  the  parlour  where  the 
four  little  women  stood  awaiting  her,  she  made  a 
picture  that  would  have  stirred  much  duller  sensi- 
bilities than  theirs.  At  first  she  was  a  little  dazed 
by  the  sudden  light,  and  before  she  had  concen- 
trated her  glance  he  had  put  her  hand  into  the 
mother's.  He  was  inwardly  rejoicing  that  the 
Meyricks  were  so  small:  the  dark-curled  head 
was  the  highest  among  them.  The  poor  wanderer 
could  not  be  afraid  of  these  gentle  faces  so  near 
hers ;  and  now  she  was  looking  at  each  of  them 
in  turn  while  the  mother  said,  "You  must  be 
weary,  poor  child." 

"We  will  take  care  of  you — we  will  comfort 
you — we  will  love  you,"  cried  Mab,  no  longer 
able  to  restrain  herself,  and  taking  the  small  right 
hand  caressingly  between  both  her  own.  This 
gentle  welcoming  warmth  was  penetrating  the 
bewildered  one :  she  hung  back  just  enough  to 
see  better  the  four  faces  in  front  of  her,  whose 
goodwill  was  being  reflected  in  hers,  not  in  any 
smile,  but  in  that  undefinable  change  which  tells 
us  that  anxiety  is  passing  into  contentment.  For 
an  instant  she  looked  up  at  Deronda,  as  if  she 
were  referring  all  this  mercy  to  him,  and  then 


again  turning  to  Mrs  Meyrick,  said  with  more 
collectedness  in  lier  sweet  tones  than  lie  had 
heard  before — 

"  I  am  a  stranger.  I  am  a  Jewess.  You  might 
have  thought  I  was  wicked." 

"  No,  we  are  sure  you  are  good,"  burst  out  Mab. 

"We  think  no  evil  of  you,  poor  child.  You 
shall  be  safe  with  us,"  said  Mrs  Meyrick.  "  Come 
now  and  sit  down.  You  must  have  some  food,  and 
then  go  to  rest." 

The  stranger  looked  up  again  at  Deronda,  who 
said — 

"  You  will  have  no  more  fears  with  these 
friends  ?    You  will  rest  to-night  ?  " 

"  Oh,  I  should  not  fear.  I  should  rest.  I  think 
these  are  the  ministering  angels." 

Mrs  Meyrick  wanted  to  lead  her  to  a  seat,  but 
again  hanging  back  gently,  the  poor  weary  thing 
spoke  as  if  with  a  scruple  at  being  received  with- 
out a  further  account  of  herself: 

"  My  name  is  Mirah  Lapidoth.  I  am  come  a 
long  way,  all  the  way  from  Prague  by  myself.  I 
made  my  escape.  I  ran  away  from  dreadful  things. 
I  came  to  find  my  mother  and  brother  in  London. 
I  had  been  taken  from  my  mother  when  I  was 
little,  but  I  thought  I  could  find  her  again.  I 
had  trouble — the  houses  were  all  gone — I  could 


not  find  her.  It  has  been  a  long  while,  and  T  had 
not  much  money.     That  is  why  I  am  in  distress." 

''Our  mother  will  be  good  to  you,"  cried  Mab. 
"  See  what  a  nice  little  mother  she  is  ! " 

"  Do  sit  down  now,"  said  Kate,  moving  a  chair 
forward,  while  Amy  ran  to  get  some  tea. 

Mirah  resisted  no  longer,  but  seated  herself  with 
perfect  grace,  crossing  her  little  feet,  laying  her 
hands  one  over  the  other  on  her  lap,  and  looking 
at  her  friends  with  placid  reverence ;  whereupon 
Hafiz,  who  had  been  watching  the  scene  restlessly, 
came  forward  with  tail  erect  and  rubbed  himself 
against  her  ankles.  Deronda  felt  it  time  to  take 
his  leave. 

"  Will  you  allow  me  to  come  again  and  inquire 
—perhaps  at  five  to-morrow  ? "  he  said  to  Mrs 

"  Yes,  pray ;  we  shall  have  had  time  to  make 
acquaintance  then." 

"  Good  -  bye,"  said  Deronda,  looking  down  at 
Mirah,  and  putting  out  his  hand.  She  rose  as  she 
took  ifc,  and  the  moment  brought  back  to  them 
both  strongly  the  other  moment  when  she  had 
first  taken  that  outstretched  hand.  She  lifted 
her  eyes  to  his  and  said  with  reverential  fervour, 
"  The  God  of  our  fathers  bless  you  and  deliver  you 
from  all  evil  as  you  have  delivered  me.     I  did 


not  believe  there  was  any  man  so  good.  None 
before  have  thought  me  worthy  of  the  best.  You 
found  me  poor  and  miserable,  yet  you  have  given 
me  the  best." 

Deronda  could  not  speak,  but  with  silent  adieux 
to  the  Meyricks,  hurried  away. 





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The  cheapest  because  the  best,  and  indispensable  to  every  household,  and  an 
inestimable  boon   to  housewives.      Makes  delicious   Puddings  without  eggs. 
Pastry  without   butter,  and  beautiful  light   Bread  without  yeast.     Sold  by 
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This  cheap  and  excellent  Sauce  makes  the  plainest  viands  palatable,  and  the 
daintiest  dishes  more  delicious.  To  Chops  and  Steaks,  Fish,  &c. ,  it  is  incom- 
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Prepared  by  GOODAX.L,  BACKHOUSE,  &  CO.,  LEEDS, 


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remedy  known  for  Indigestion,  Loss  of  Appetite,  General  Debility,  &c.  Re- 
stores delicate  invalids  to  health  and  vigour.  Sold  by  Chemists,  Grocers,  &c., 
at  Is.,  Is.  l^d. ,  2s.,  and  2s.  3d.  each  Bottle. 

Prepared  by  GOODALL,  BACKHOUSE,  &  CO.,  LEEDS. 


DR  ARTHUR  HILL  HASSALL,  M.D.,the  inventor,  recommends  this  as  the  best  and 
most  iKmrishing  of  all  Infants' and  Invalids'  Poods  which  have  hitherto  been  brought  before; 
the  public.  It  contains  every  requisite  for  the  full  and  healthy  support  and  development  of  the 
body,  and  is,  to  a  considerable  extent,  self-digt stive.  Recommended  by  the  'Lancet,'  and 
Medical  Faculty,  &c.  Sold  by  Druggists,  Grocers,  Oilmen,  &c,,  &c.,  in  Tins,  Cd.,  Is.,  2s.,  3s.  6d., 
6s.,  15s.,  and  28s.  each.  A  Treatise  by  Arthur  Hill  Hassall,  M.D.,  London,  the  inventor,  on 
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Mannfacturers,  GOODALL,  BACKHOUSE,  &  CO.,  LEEDS. 



As  Supplied  to  Her  Majesty  at  all  the  Koyal  Palaces, 

and  to  the  Aristocracy  and  Gentry  of  the  United  Kingdom.    The  delicious  product 

of  the  famed  Kent  Morellas.     Supersedes  Wine  in  many  households. 

A  most  valuable  Tonic. 

42s.  net  per  Dozen,  pre-paid.    Carriage  Free  in  England. 


"The  Sportsman's  Special  Quality." 

50s.  net  per  Dozen,  pre-paid.     Carriage  Free  in  England. 

This  quality,  which,  please  observe,  is  not  supplied  unless  distinctly  and  specially 

ordered,  contains  more  Brandy  and  less  Saccharine  than  the  above   "  Qiieen's 

Quality,"  and  has  been  specially  prepared  for  the  Hunting  Field,  &c.     Order 

through  any  Wine  Merchant,  or  direct  of 



Wb  beg  to  draw  attention  to  our  large 
and  well-matured  Stock  of  this  Excellent  and  Moderate-priced 

The  price  at  which  we  offer  it  is  so  reasonable,  and  the  quality 
so  fine,  that  we  consider  it  THE  BEST  and  most  ECONOMICAL 
White  Wine  we  know  for  DINNER  and  HOUSEHOLD  USE. 


In  Quarter  Casks  of 

>  'diJi  OS.  ou.  per  gcUiun,   i 

Casks  included. 

i  at  8s.  9d.       do. 

In    Octaves    of   14 

In  Wickered    Jars  ]  ]  Jars  charged  extra, 

of    4,    5,  and    6  Vat  8s.  9d.       do.  >     but  allowed  for 

gallons,  j  j     when  returned. 


Carriage  paid  to  any  Railway  Station  in  England  or  Scotland^ 
on  receipt  of  remittance. 




Lord  Street.  76  Market  Street.  28  High  Street 




P  R  Y'S     COCOA 

in  ^-Ib.  and  ^-Ib.  packets. 

THE  CAEACAS  COCOA  specially  recommended  by  the  Manu- 
facturers is  prepared  from  the  celebrated  Cocoa  of  Caracas,  combined  with 
other  choice  descriptions.  Purchasers  should  ask  specially  for  •'  Fky's  Caracas 
Cocoa,"  to  distinguish  it  from  other  varieties.  "  A  most  delicious  and  valuable 

article."— Standard. 
FRY'S  CHOCOLATE  CREAMS  are  delicious  stoeetmeats. 


THE  Original  and  Genuine  Preparation  of  Indian  Corn,  of  which 
all  Corn  Flours  are  but  Imitations. 
For  Purity,  for  Nutritive  Quality,  for  Agreeableness  to  the  Pal- 
ate of  Infants,  and  as  an  Article  of  Diet,  the  Genuine 


has  no  equal. 

Sold  by  all  respectable  Grocers  and  Italian  Warehousemen. 

>©€)©€>©€)©€)©<£>©€>©€>©€>©€>©€>©€>©€>©€>©«)  ©©©€5® 


£10— In  return  for  a  Ten-Pound  Note,  free  &  safe,  per  post,  one  of 


Perfect  for  time,  beauty,  and  workmanship,  with  keyless  action,  air-tight,  damp- 
tight,  and  dust-tight. 
BENNETT'S  KEYLESS  HALF-CHRONOMETERS,  compensated  for  variations 
of  temperature,  adjusted  in  positions,  with  improved  keyless  action. 

In  Gold,  30  to  40  guineas.  |         In  Silver,         16  to  25  guineas. 


JOHN  BENNETT,  64  and  65  Cheapside,  London. 







CAUTION.— The  extraordinary  medical  reports  on  the  efficacy  of  Chlorodyne 
render  it  of  vital  importance  that  the  public  should  obtain  the  genuine,  which 
bears  the  words,  *'  Db  J.  CoLLis  Browne's  Chlobodyne,"  on  the  Government 

\J    render  it  of  vital  importance  that  the  public  should  obtain  the  genuine,  which 

J.  ( 

Vice-ChancelJor  Wood  stated  that  Dr  J.  Collis  Brownb  was  undoubtedly  the  inventor  of 
Chlorodyne,  that  the  whole  story  of  the  Defendant  Freeman  was  deliberately  untrue. 

From  Dr  B.  J.  Boultom  &  Co.,  Horncastle. 
"  We  have  made  pretty  extensive  use  of  Chlorodyne  in  our  practice  lately,  and  look  upon  it  as 
an  excellent  direct  Sedative  and  Anti-spasmodic.  It  seems  to  allay  pain  and  irritation  in  what- 
ever organ,  and  from  whatever  cause.  It  induces  a  feeling  of  comfort  and  quietude  not  obtain- 
able by  any  other  remedy,  and  it  seems  to  possess  this  great  advantage  over  all  other  Seda- 
tives, that  it  leaves  no  unpleasant  al'ter-e£fects. " 

From  W.  C.  Wilkinson,  Esq.,  P.R.C.S.,  Spalding. 
"I  consider  it  invaluable  in  Phthisis  and  Spasmodic  Cough;  the  benefit  is  very  marked 

Sold  in  Bottles,  Is.  l^d.,  2s.  9d.,  and  4s.  6d.,  by  all  Chemists. 

SOLE  MANUFACTURER— J.  T.  DAVENPORT,  33  Great  EnsseU  Street,  W.C. 


So/d  by  all  Dealers  throughout  the  World. 

FIRE!    FIRE!!     FIRE!!! 


Weighs  but  8  lb.,  and  will  throw  water  50  feet. 


These  urns  are  elegant  in  form,  are  the  most  eflBcient  ones  yet  introduced,  and 
eflfect  a  saving  of  50  per  cent.  The  '  Times'  newspaper  remarks  :  **  M.  Loysel's 
hydrostatic  machine  for  making  tea  or  coflFee  is  justly  considered  as  one  of  the 
most  complete  inventions  of  its  kind." 

Sold  by  all  respectable  Ironmongers.    More  than  200,000  now  in  use. 

Manufacturers  —  GMPFITHS  &  BEOWETT,    Birmingham:    12  Moorgate 

Street,  London ;  and  25  Boulevard  Magenta,  Paris. 



"None  are  genuine  without  the 
name  of  J.  &  J.  CASH. 










with  the  Name  of  the  Firm, 

0".  &  J",    c^sn, 

woven  upon  it,  and 







In  the  MOST  DIGESTIBLE  and 

143  NEW  BOND  STREET,  LONDON,  and  all  CHEMISTS. 

J.  &  P.  COATS' 


To  he  had  of  all  Wholesale  and  Retail  Drapers  throughotU  the  United  Kingdom 






This  Cotton  being  greatly  improved  in  quality 
and  finish,  will  be  found  unsurpassed  for 
Machine  or  Hand  Sewing. 
On  Reels  100,  200,  or  500  Yards. 
Unsurpassed  in  Quality. 




Let  thy  chief  terror  be  of  thine  own  soul : 
There,  'mid  the  throng  of  hurrying  desires 
That  trample  o'er  the  dead  to  seize  their  spoil, 
Lui-ks  vengeance,  footless,  irresistible 
As  exhalations  laden  with  slow  death, 
And  o'er  the  fairest  troop  of  captured  joys 
Breathes  pallid  pestUence. 




VOL.  n. 




All  Rights  reserved 

At  p.  336,  the  quotation  from  Tennyson  should  read  thus ; 

"  This  is  truth  the  poet  sings, 
That  a  soitow's  crown  of  sorrow  is  remembering  happier  things." 

—Tennyson  :  Locksley  Hall. 




"  I  pity  the  man  who  can  travel  from  Dan  to  Beersheba,  and  say,  '  'Tis 
all  barren ; '  and  so  it  is :  and  so  is  all  the  world  to  him  who  will  not 
cultivate  the  fruits  it  oflfers."— Stbbne  ;  Sentimental  Journey. 

To  say  that  Deronda  was  romantic  would  be  to 
misrepresent  him  ;  but  under  his  calm  and  some- 
what self-repressed  exterior  there  was  a  fervour 
which  made  him  easily  find  poetry  and  romance 
among  the  events  of  everyday  life.  And  perhaps 
poetry  and  romance  are  as  plentiful  as  ever  in  the 
world  except  for  those  phlegmatic  natures  who  I 
suspect  would  in  any  age  have  regarded  them  as 
a  dull  form  of  erroneous  thinking.  They  exist  very 
easily  in  the  same  room  with  the  microscope  and 


even  in  railway  carriages  :  what  banishes  them  is 
the  vacuum  in  gentlemen  and  lady  passengers. 
How  should  all  the  apparatus  of  heaven  and  earth, 
from  the  farthest  firmament  to  the  tender  bosom 
of  the  mother  who  nourished  us,  make  poetry  for 
a  mind  that  has  no  movements  of  awe  and  tender- 
ness, no  sense  of  fellowship  which  thrills  from  the 
near  to  the  distant,  and  back  again  from  the  dis- 
tant to  the  near  ? 

To  Deronda  this  event  of  finding  Mirah  was  as 
heart  -  stirring  as  anything  that  befell  Orestes  or 
Rinaldo.  He  sat  up  half  the  night,  living  again 
through  the  moments  since  he  had  first  discerned 
Mirah  on  the  river-brink,  with  the  fresh  and  fresh 
vividness  which  belongs  to  emotive  memory.  When 
he  took  up  a  book  to  try  and  dull  this  urgency  of  in- 
ward vision,  the  printed  words  were  no  more  than 
a  network  through  which  he  saw  and  heard  every- 
thing as  clearly  as  before — saw  not  only  the  actual 
events  of  two  hours,  but  possibilities  of  what  had 
been  and  what  might  be  which  those  events  were 
enough  to  feed  with  the  warm  blood  of  passion- 
ate hope  and  fear.  Something  in  his  own  experi- 
ence caused  Mirah's  search  after  her  mother  to  lay 
hold  with  peculiar  force  on  his  imagination.  The 
first  prompting  of  sympathy  was  to  aid  her  in  the 
search  :  if  given  persons  were  extant  in  London 


there  were  ways  of  finding  them,  as  subtle  as 
scientific  experiment,  the  right  machinery  being 
set  at  work.  But  here  the  mixed  feelings  which 
belonged  to  Deronda's  kindred  experience  natu- 
rally transfused  themselves  into  his  anxiety  on 
behalf  of  Mirah. 

The  desire  to  know  his  own  mother,  or  to  know 
about  her,  was  constantly  haunted  with  dread; 
and  in  imagining  what  might  befall  Mirah  it 
quickly  occurred  to  him  that  finding  the  mother 
and  brother  from  whom  she  had  been  parted 
when  she  was  a  little  one  might  turn  out  to  be  a 
calamity.  When  she  was  in  the  boat  she  said 
that  her  mother  and  brother  were  good ;  but  the 
goodness  might  have  been  chiefly  in  her  own 
ignorant  innocence  and  yearning  memory,  and  the 
ten  or  twelve  years  since  the  parting  had  been 
time  enough  for  much  worsening.  Spite  of  his 
strong  tendency  to  side  with  the  objects  of  pre- 
judice, and  in  general  with  those  who  got  the 
worst  of  it,  his  interest  had  never  been  practically 
drawn  towards  existing  Jews,  and  the  facts  he 
knew  about  them,  whether^ they  walked  con- 
spicuous in  fine  apparel  or  lurked  in  by-streets, 
were  chiefly  of  the  sort  most  repugnant  to  him. 
Of  learned  and  accomplished  Jews  he  took  it  for 
granted  that  they  had  dropped  their  religion,  and 


wished  to  be  merged  in  the  people  of  their  native 
lands.  Scorn  flung  at  a  Jew  as  such  would  have 
roused  all  his  sympathy  in  griefs  of  inheritance ; 
but  the  indiscriminate  scorn  of  a  race  will  often 
strike  a  specimen  who  has  well  earned  it  on  his  own 
account,  and  might  fairly  be  gibbeted  as  a  rascally 
son  of  Adam.  It  appears  that  the  Caribs,  who 
know  little  of  theology,  regard  thieving  as  a  prac- 
tice peculiarly  connected  with  Christian  tenets,  and 
probably  they  could  allege  experimental  grounds 
for  this  opinion.  Deronda  could  not  escape  (who 
can?)  knowing  ugly  stories  of  Jewish  character- 
istics and  occupations ;  and  though  one  of  his 
favourite  protests  was  against  the  severance  of 
past  and  present  history,  he  was  like  others  who 
shared  his  protest,  in  never  having  cared  to  reach 
any  more  special  conclusions  about  actual  Jews 
than  that  they  retained  the  virtues  and  vices  of  a 
long-oppressed  race.  But  now  that  Mirah's  long- 
ing roused  his  mind  to  a  closer  survey  of  details, 
very  disagreeable  images  urged  themselves  of 
what  it  might  be  to  find  out  this  middle-aged 
Jewess  and  her  son.  To  be  sure,  there  was  the 
exquisite  refinement  and  charm  of  the  creature 
herself  to  make  a  presumption  in  favour  of  her 
immediate  kindred,  but — he  must  wait  to  know 
more:   perhaps  through  Mrs  Meyrick  he  might 


gather  some  guiding  hints  from  Mirah's  own  lips. 
Her  voice,  her  accent,  her  looks — all  the  sweet 
purity  that  clothed  her  as  with  a  consecrating 
garment  made  him  shrink  the  more  from  giving 
her,  either  ideally  or  practically,  an  association 
with  what  was  hateful  or  contaminating.  But 
these  fine  words  with  which  we  fumigate  and 
becloud  unpleasant  facts  are  not  the  language  in 
which  we  think.  Deronda's  thinking  went  on  in 
rapid  images  of  what  might  be :  he  saw  himself 
guided  by  some  official  scout  into  a  dingy  street ; 
he  entered  through  a  dim  doorway,  and  saw  a 
hawk-eyed  woman,  rough-headed,  and  ynwashed, 
cheapening  a  hungry  girl's  last  bit  of  finery ;  or 
in  some  quarter  only  the  more  hideous,  for  being 
smarter,  he  found  himself  under  the  breath  of  a 
young  Jew  talkative  and  familiar,  willing  to  show 
his  acquaintance  with  gentlemen's  tastes,  and  not 
fastidious  in  any  transactions  with  which  tli'^y 
would  favour  him — and  so  on  through  the  brief 
chapter  of  his  experience  in  this  kind.  Excuse 
him  :  his  mind  was  not  apt  to  run  spontaneously 
into  insulting  ideas,  or  to  practise  a  form  of  wit 
which  identifies  Moses  with  the  advertisement 
sheet ;  but  he  was  just  now  governed  by  dread, 
and  if  Mirah's  parents  had  been  Christian,  the 
chief  difference  would  have  been  that  his  forebod- 


ings  would  have  been  fed  with  wider  knowledge. 
It  was  the  habit  of  his  mind  to  connect  dread 
with  unknown  parentage,  and  in  this  case  as  well 
as  his  own  there  was  enough  to  make  the  connec- 
tion reasonable. 

But  what  was  to  be  done  with  Mirah?  She 
needed  shelter  and  protection  in  the  fullest  sense, 
and  all  his  chivalrous  sentiment  roused  itself  to 
insist  that  the  sooner  and  the  more  fully  he  could 
engage  for  her  the  interest  of  others  besides  him- 
self, the  better  he  should  fulfil  her  claims  on  him. 
He  had  no  right  to  provide  for  her  entirely, 
though  he  might  be  able  to  do  so ;  the  very  depth 
of  the  impression  she  had  produced  made  him 
desire  that  she  should  understand  herself  to  be 
entirely  independent  of  him ;  and  vague  visions  of 
the  future  which  he  tried  to  dispel  as  fantastic 
left  their  influence  in  an  anxiety,  stronger  than 
any  motive  he  could  give  for  it,  that  those  who 
saw  his  actions  closely  should  be  acquainted  from 
the  first  with  the  history  of  his  relation  to  Mirah. 
He  had  learned  to  hate  secrecy  about  the  grand 
ties  and  obligations  of  his  life  —  to  hate  it  the 
more  because  a  strong  spell  of  interwoven  sensi- 
bilities hindered  him  from  breaking  such  secrecy. 
Deronda  had  made  a  vow  to  himself  that — since 
the  truths  which  disgrace  mortals  are  not  all  of 


their  own  making  —  the  truth  should  never  be 
made  a  disgrace  to  another  by  his  act.  He  was  not 
without  terror  lest  he  should  break  this  vow,  and 
fall  into  the  apologetic  philosophy  which  explains 
the  world  into  containing  nothing  better  than 
one's  own  conduct. 

At  one  moment  he  resolved  to  tell  the  whole  of 
his  adventure  to  Sir  Hugo  and  Lady  Mallinger 
the  next  morning  at  breakfast,  but  the  possibility 
that  something  quite  new  might  reveal  itself  on 
his  next  visit  to  Mrs  Meyrick's  checked  this  im- 
pulse, and  he  finally  went  to  sleep  on  the  con- 
clusion that  he  would  wait  until  that  visit  had 
been  made. 



"  It  will  hardly  be  denied  that  even  in  this  frail  and  coirnpted  world, 
we  sometimes  meet  persons  who,  in  their  veiy  mien  and  aspect,  as  well  as 
in  the  whole  habit  of  life,  manifest  such  a  signature  and  stamp  of  virtue, 
as  to  make  our  judgment  of  them  a  matter  of  intuition  rather  than 
the  result  of  continued  examination." — Alexander  Knox  :  quoted  in 
Southey's  Life  of  Wesley. 

MiEAH  said  that  she  had  slept  well  that  night;  and 
when  she  came  down  in  Mah's  black  dress,  her 
dark  hair  curling  in  fresh  fibrils  as  it  gradually- 
dried  from  its  plenteous  bath,  she  looked  like  one 
who  was  beginning  to  take  comfort  after  the  long 
sorrow  and  watching  which  had  paled  her  cheek 
and  made  deep  blue  semicircles  under  her  eyes. 
It  was  Mab  who  carried  her  breakfast  and  ushered 
her  down — with  some  pride  in  the  effect  pro- 
duced by  a  pair  of  tiny  felt  slippers  which  she 
had  rushed  out  to  buy  because  there  were  no  shoes 
in  the  house  small  enough  for  Mirah,  whose 
borrowed  dress  ceased  about  her  ankles  and  dis- 
played the  cheap  clothing  that  moulding  itself  on 
her  feet  seemed  an  adornment  as  choice  as  the 


sheaths  of  buds.  The  farthing  buckles  were 

"  Oh,  if  you  please,  mamma ! "  cried  Mab,  clasp- 
ing her  hands  and  stooping  towards  Mirah's  feet, 
as  she  entered  the  parlour.  "  Look  at  the  slippers, 
how  beautifully  they  fit!  I  declare  she  is  like 
the  Queen  Budoor — 'two  delicate  feet,  the  work  of 
the  protecting  and  all-recompensing  Creator,  sup- 
port her;  and  I  wonder  how  they  can  sustain 
what  is  above  them.'" 

Mirah  looked  down  at  her  own  feet  in  a  child- 
like way  and  then  smiled  at  Mrs  Meyrick,  who 
was  saying  inwardly,  "  One  could  hardly  imagine 
this  creature  having  an  evil  thought.  But  wise 
people  would  tell  me  to  be  cautious."  She  re- 
turned Mirah's  smile  and  said,  "  I  fear  the  feet 
have  had  to  sustain  their  burthen  a  little  too  often 
lately.  But  to-day  she  will  rest  and  be  my 

"  And  she  will  tell  you  so  many  things  and  1 
shall  not  hear  them,"  grumbled  Mab,  who  felt 
herself  in  the  first  volume  of  a  delightful  romance 
and  obliged  to  miss  some  chapters  because  she 
had  to  go  to  pupils. 

Kate  was  already  gone  to  make  sketches  along 
the  river,  and  Amy  was  away  on  business  errands. 
It  was  what  the  mother  wished,  to  be  alone  with 


this   stranger,  whose  story  must  be  a  sorrowful 
one,  yet  was  needful  to  be  told. 

The  small  front  parlour  was  as  good  as  a  temple 
that  morning.  The  sunlight  was  on  the  river  and 
soft  air  came  in  through  the  open  window;  the 
walls  showed  a  glorious  silent  cloud  of  witnesses 
— the  Virgin  soaring  amid  her  cherubic  escort ; 
grand  Melancholia  with  her  solemn  universe ;  the 
Prophets  and  Sibyls  ;  the  School  of  Athens ;  the 
Last  Supper ;  mystic  groups  where  far-off  ages 
made  one  moment ;  grave  Holbein  and  Eembrandt 
heads  ;  the  Tragic  Muse  ;  last- century  children  at 
their  musings  or  their  play ;  Italian  poets — all 
were  there  through  the  medium  of  a  little  black 
and  white.  The  neat  mother  who  had  weathered 
her  troubles,  and  come  out  of  them  with  a  face 
stiU  cheerful,  was  sorting  coloured  wools  for  her 
embroidery.  Hafiz  purred  on  the  window-ledge, 
the  clock  on  the  mantelpiece  ticked  without  hurry, 
and  the  occasional  sound  of  wheels  seemed  to  lie 
outside  the  more  massive  central  quiet.  Mrs 
Meyrick  thought  that  this  quiet  might  be  the  best 
invitation  to  speech  on  the  part  of  her  companion, 
and  chose  not  to  disturb  it  by  remark.  Mirah 
sat  opposite  in  her  former  attitude,  her  hands 
clasped  on  her  lap,  her  ankles  crossed,  her  eyes  at 
first  travelling  slowly  over  the  objects  around  her, 


but  finally  resting  with  a  sort  of  placid  reverence 
on  Mrs  Meyrick.  At  length  she  began  to  speak 

"  I  remember  my  mother's  face  better  than  any- 
thing; yet  I  was  not  seven  when  I  was  taken 
away,  and  I  am  nineteen  now/' 

"I  can  understand  that"  said  Mrs  Meyrick. 
"There  are  some  earliest  things  that  last  the 

"  Oh  yes,  it  was  the  earliest.  I  think,  my  life 
began  with  waking  up  and  loving  my  mother's  face : 
it  was  so  near  to  me,  and  her  arms  were  round 
me,  and  she  sang  to  me.  One  hymn  she  sang  so 
often,  so  often :  and  then  she  taught  me  to  sing 
it  with  her :  it  was  the  first  I  ever  sang.  They 
were  always  Hebrew  hymns  she  sang;  and  because 
I  never  knew  the  meaning  of  the  words  they 
seemed  full  of  nothing  but  our  love  and  happi- 
ness. When  I  lay  in  my  little  bed  and  it  was 
aU  white  above  me,  she  used  to  bend  over  me 
between  me  and  the  white,  and  sing  in  a  sweet 
low  voice.  I  can  dream  myself  back  into  that 
time  when  I  am  awake,  and  often  it  comes  back 
to  me  in  my  sleep — my  hand  is  very  little,  I  put 
it  up  to  her  face  and  she  kisses  it.  Sometimes  in 
my  dream  I  begin  to  tremble  and  think  that  we 
are  both  dead ;  but  then  I  wake  up  and  my  hand 


lies  like  this,  and  for  a  moment  I  hardly  know 
myself.  But  if  I  could  see  my  mother  again,  I 
should  know  her." 

"You  must  expect  some  change  after  twelve 
years,"  said  Mrs  Meyrick,  gently.  "  See  my  grey 
hair:  ten  years  ago  it  was  bright  brown.  The 
days  and  the  months  pace  over  us  like  rest- 
less little  birds,  and  leave  the  marks  of  their  feet 
backwards  and  forwards ;  especially  when  they 
are  like  birds  with  heavy  hearts — then  they  tread 

"  Ah,  I  am  sure  her  heart  has  been  heavy  for 
want  of  me.  But  to  feel  her  joy  if  we  could  meet 
again,  and  I  could  make  her  know  how  I  love  her 
and  give  her  deep  comfort  after  all  her  mourn- 
ing !  If  that  could  be,  I  should  mind  nothing ; 
I  should  be  glad  that  I  have  lived  through  my 
trouble.  I  did  despair.  The  world  seemed  miser- 
able and  wicked ;  none  helped  me  so  that  I  could 
bear  their  looks  and  words ;  I  felt  that  my  mother 
was  dead,  and  death  was  the  only  way  to  her. 
But  then  in  the  last  moment — yesterday,  when 
I  longed  for  the  water  to  close  over  me — and  I 
thought  that  death  was  the  best  image  of  mercy 
— then  goodness  came  to  me  living,  and  I  felt 
trust  in  the  living.  And — it  is  strange — but  I 
began  to  hope  that  she  was  living  too.     And  now 


I  am  with  you — here — this  morning,  peace  and 
hope  have  come  into  me  like  a  flood.  I  want 
nothing ;  I  can  wait ;  because  I  hope  and  believe 
and  am  grateful — oh,  so  grateful !  You  have  not 
thought  evil  of  me — you  have  not  despised  me." 

Mirah  spoke  with  low-toned  fervour,  and  sat 
as  still  as  a  picture  aU  the  while. 

"Many  others  would  have  felt  as  we  do,  my 
dear,"  said  Mrs  Meyrick,  feeling  a  mist  come  over 
her  eyes  as  she  looked  at  her  work. 

"  But  I  did  not  meet  them — they  did  not  come 
to  me." 

"  How  was  it  that  you  were  taken  from  your 
mother  ? " 

"  Ah,  I  am  a  long  while  coming  to  that.  It  is 
dreadful  to  speak  of,  yet  I  must  tell  you — I  must 
tell  you  everything.  My  father — it  was  he  who 
took  me  away.  I  thought  we  were  only  going  on 
a  little  journey  ;  and  I  was  pleased.  There  was 
a  box  with  all  my  little  things  in.  But  we  went 
on  board  a  ship,  and  got  farther  and  farther  away 
from  the  land.  Then  I  was  ill ;  and  I  thought  it 
would  never  end — it  was  the  first  misery,  and  it 
seemed  endless.  But  at  last  we  landed.  I  knew 
nothing  then,  and  believed  what  my  father  said. 
He  comforted  me,  and  told  me  I  should  go  back 
to  my  mother.      But  it   was  America  we  had 


reached,  and  it  was  long  years  before  we  came 
back  to  Europe.  At  first  I  often  asked  my  father 
when  we  were  going  back ;  and  I  tried  to  learn 
writing  fast,  because  I  wanted  to  write  to  my 
mother ;  but  one  day  when  he  found  me  trying 
to  write  a  letter,  he  took  me  on  his  knee  and  told 
me  that  my  mother  and  brother  were  dead ;  that 
was  why  we  did  not  go  back.  I  remember  my 
brother  a  little  ;  he  carried  me  once  ;  but  he  was 
not  always  at  home.  I  believed  my  father  when 
he  said  that  they  were  dead.  I  saw  them  under 
the  earth  when  he  said  they  were  there,  with  their 
eyes  for  ever  closed.  I  never  thought  of  its  not 
being  true  ;  and  I  used  to  cry  every  night  in  my 
bed  for  a  long  while.  Then  when  she  came  so 
often  to  me,  in  my  sleep,  I  thought  she  must  be 
living  about  me  though  I  could  not  always  see 
her ,  and  that  comforted  me.  I  was  never  afraid 
in  the  dark,  because  of  that ;  and  very  often  in 
the  day  I  used  to  shut  my  eyes  and  bury  my  face 
and  try  to  see  her  and  to  hear  her  singing.  I 
came  to  do  that  at  last  without  shutting  my 

Mirah  paused  with  a  sweet  content  in  her  face, 
as  if  she  were  having  her  happy  vision,  while  she 
looked  out  towards  the  river. 

"Still  your  father  was  not  unkind  to  you,  I 


hope/'  said  Mrs  Meyrick,  after  a  minute,  anxious 
to  recall  her. 

"No;  he  petted  me,  and  took  pains  to  teach 
me.  He  was  an  actor ;  and  I  found  out,  after, 
that  the  *  Coburg  *  I  used  to  hear  of  his  going  to 
at  home  was  a  theatre.  But  he  had  more  to  do 
with  the  theatre  than  acting.  He  had  not  always 
been  an  actor ;  he  had  been  a  teacher,  aud  knew 
many  languages.  His  acting  was  not  very  good, 
I  think ;  but  he  managed  the  stage,  and  wrote 
and  translated  plays.  An  Italian  lady,  a  singer, 
lived  with  us  a  long  time.  They  both  taught  me ; 
and  I  had  a  master  besides,  who  made  me  learn 
by  heart  and  recite.  I  worked  quite  hard,  though 
I  was  so  little  ;  and  I  was  not  nine  when  I  first 
went  on  the  stage.  I  could  easily  learn  things, 
and  I  was  not  afraid.  But  then  and  ever  since 
I  hated  our  way  of  life.  My  father  had  money, 
and  we  had  finery  about  us  in  a  disorderly  way ; 
always  there  were  men  and  women  coming  and 
going,  there  was  loud  laughing  and  disputing, 
strutting,  snapping  of  fingers,  jeering,  faces  I  did 
not  like  to  look  at — though  many  petted  and 
caressed  me.  But  then  I  remembered  my  mother. 
Even  at  first  when  I  understood  nothing,  I  shrank 
away  from  all  those  things  outside  me  into  com- 
panionship with    thoughts    that   were  not  like 

VOL.   XL  B 


them  ;  and  I  gathered  thoughts  very  fast,  because 
I  read  many  things — plays  and  poetry,  Shake- 
speare and  Schiller,  and  learned  evil  and  good. 
My  father  began  to  believe  that  I  might  be  a 
great  singer :  my  voice  was  considered  wonderful 
for  a  child  ;  and  he  had  the  best  teaching  for  me. 
But  it  was  painful  that  he  boasted  of  me,  and  set 
me  to  sing  for  show  at  any  minute,  as  if  I  had 
been  a  musical  box.  Once  when  I  was  ten  years 
old,  I  played  the  part  of  a  little  girl  who  had  been 
forsaken  and  did  not  know  it,  and  sat  singing  to 
herself  while  she  played  with  flowers.  I  did  it 
without  any  trouble ;  but  the  clapping  and  all  the 
sounds  of  the  theatre  were  hateful  to  me ;  and  I 
never  liked  the  praise  I  had,  because  it  seemed  all 
very  hard  and  unloving :  I  missed  the  love  and 
the  trust  I  had  been  born  into.  I  made  a  life  in 
my  own  thoughts  quite  different  from  everything 
about  me :  I  chose  what  seemed  to  me  beautiful 
out  of  the  plays  and  everything,  and  made  my 
world  out  of  it;  and  it  was  like  a  sharp  knife 
always  grazing  me  that  we  had  two  sorts  of  life 
which  jarred  so  with  each  other — women  looking 
good  and  gentle  on  the  stage,  and  saying  good 
things  as  if  they  felt  them,  and  directly  after  I  saw 
them  with  coarse,  ugly  manners.  My  father  some- 
times noticed  my  shrinking  ways;  and  Signora 


said  one  day  when  I  had  been  rehearsing,  '  She 
will  never  be  an  artist :  she  has  no  notion  of  being 
anybody  but  herself.  That  does  very  well  now,  but 
by-and-by  you  will  see — she  will  have  no  more 
face  and  action  than  a  singing-bird.'  My  father 
was  angry,  and  they  quarrelled.  I  sat  alone  and 
cried,  because  what  she  had  said  was  like  a  long 
unhappy  future  unrolled  before  me.  I  did  not 
want  to  be  an  artist ;  but  this  was  what  my  father 
expected  of  me.  After  a  while  Signora  left  us, 
and  a  governess  used  to  come  and  give  me  lessons 
in  different  things,  because  my  father  began  to  be 
afraid  of  my  singing  too  much  ;  but  I  still  acted 
from  time  to  time.  Eebellious  feelings  grew  stronger 
in  me,  and  I  wished  to  get  away  from  this  life ; 
but  I  could  not  tell  where  to  go,  and  I  dreaded 
the  world.  Besides,  I  felt  it  would  be  wrong  to 
leave  my  father  ;  I  dreaded  doing  wrong,  for  I 
thought  I  might  get  wicked  and  hateful  to  myself, 
in  the  same  way  that  many  others  seemed  hateful 
to  me.  ^For  so  long,  so  long  I  had  never  felt  my 
outside  world  happy  ;  and  if  I  got  wicked  I  should 
lose  my  world  of  happy  thoughts  where  my  mother 
lived  with  me.  That  was  my  childish  notion  all 
through  those  years.     Oh  how  long  they  were ! " 

Mirah  fell  to  musing  again. 

"  Had  you  no  teaching  about  what  was  your 


duty  I"  said  Mrs  Meyrick.  She  did  not  like  to 
say '  religion ' — finding  lierseK  on  inspection  rather 
dim  as  to  what  the  Hebrew  religion  might  have 
turned  into  at  this  date. 

"  No — only  that  I  ought  to  do  what  my  father 
wished.  He  did  not  follow  our  religion  at  New 
York,  and  I  think  he  wanted  me  not  to  know 
much  about  it.  But  because  my  mother  used  to 
take  me  to  the  synagogue,  and  I  remembered  sitting 
on  her  knee  and  looking  through  the  railing  and 
hearing  the  chanting  and  singing,  I  longed  to  go. 
One  day  when  I  was  quite  small  I  slipped  out 
and  tried  to  find  the  synagogue,  but  I  lost  myself 
a  long  while  till  a  pedlar  questioned  me  and  took 
me  home.  My  father,  missing  me,  had  been  in 
much  fear,  and  was  very  angry.  I  too  had  been 
so  frightened  at  losing  myself  that  it  was  long  be- 
fore I  thought  of  venturing  out  again.  But  after 
Signora  left  us  we  went  to  rooms  where  our  land- 
lady was  a  Jewess  and  observed  her  religion.  I 
asked  her  to  take  me  with  her  to  the  synagogue ; 
and  I  read  in  her  prayer-books  and  Bible,  and  when 
I  had  money  enough  I  asked  her  to  buy  me  books 
of  my  own,  for  these  books  seemed  a  closer  com- 
panionship with  my  mother :  I  knew  that  she 
must  have  looked  at  the  very  words  and  said 
them.     In  that  way  I  have  come  to  know  a  little 


of  our  religion,  and  tlie  history  of  our  people,  be- 
sides piecing  together  what  I  read  in  plays  and 
other  books  about  Jews  and  Jewesses ;  because  I 
was  sure  that  my  mother  obeyed  her  religion.  I 
had  left  off  asking  my  father  about  her. .  It  is  very 
dreadful  to  say  it,  but  I  began  to  disbelieve  him. 
I  had  found  that  he  did  not  always  tell  the  truth, 
and  made  promises  without  meaning  to  keep  them ; 
and  that  raised  my  suspicion  that  my  mother  and 
brother  were  still  alive  though  he  had  told  me 
that  they  were  dead.  For  in  going  over  the  past 
again  and  again  as  I  got  older  and  knew  more,  I 
felt  sure  that  my  mother  had  been  deceived,  and 
had  expected  to  see  us  back  again  after  a  very 
little  while ;  and  my  father's  taking  me  on  his 
knee  and  telling  me  that  my  mother  and  brother 
were  both  dead  seemed  to  me  now  nothing  but  a 
bit  of  acting,  to  set  my  mind  at  rest.  The  cruelty 
of  that  falsehood  sank  into  me,  and  I  hated  all  un- 
truth because  of  it.  I  wrote  to  my  mother  secretly : 
I  knew  the  street,  Colman  Street,  where  we  lived, 
and  that  it  was  near  Blackfriars  Bridge  and  the 
Coburg,  and  that  our  name  was  Cohen  then, 
though  my  father  called  us  Lapidoth,  because, 
he  said,  it  was  a  name  of  his  forefathers  in 
Poland.  I  sent  my  letter  secretly ;  but  no  answer 
came,  and  I  thought  there  was  no  hope  for  me. 


Our  life  in  America  did  not  last  much  longer. 
My  father  suddenly  told  me  we  were  to  pack 
up  and  go  to  Hamburg,  and  I  was  rather  glad. 
I  hoped  we  might  get  among  a  different  sort  of 
people,  and  I  knew  German  quite  well — some  Ger- 
man plays  almost  all  by  heart.  My  father  spoke 
it  better  than  he  spoke  English.  I  was  thirteen 
then,  and  I  seemed  to  myself  quite  old — I  knew 
so  much,  and  yet  so  little.  I  think  other  children 
cannot  feel  as  I  did.  I  had  often  wished  that  I 
had  been  drowned  when  I  was  going  away  from 
my  mother.  But  I  set  myself  to  obey  and  suffer : 
what  else  could  I  do  ?  One  day  when  we  were 
on  our  voyage,  a  new  thought  came  into  my  mind. 
I  was  not  very  ill  that  time,  and  I  kept  on  deck  a 
good  deal.  My  father -acted  and  sang  and  joked 
to  amuse  people  on  board,  and  I  used  often  to 
overhear  remarks  about  him.  One  day,  when  I  was 
looking  at  the  sea  and  nobody  took  notice  of  me, 
I  overheard  a  gentleman  say, '  Oh,  he  is  one  of  those 
clever  Jews — a  rascal,  I  shouldn't  wonder.  There's 
no  race  like  them  for  cunning  in  the  men  and 
beauty  in  the  women.  I  wonder  what  market  he 
means  that  daughter  for.'  "When  I  heard  this,  it 
darted  into  my  mind  that  the  unhappiness  in  my 
life  came  from  my  being  a  Jewess,  and  that  always, 
to  the  end  the  world  would  think  slightly  of  me 


and  that  I  must  bear  it,  for  I  should  be  judged  by 
that  name ;  and  it  comforted  me  to  believe  that 
my  suffering  was  part  of  the  affliction  of  my  people, 
my  part  in  the  long  song  of  mourning  that  has 
been  going  on  through  ages  and  ages.  For  if 
many  of  our  race  were  wicked  and  made  merry  in 
their  wickedness — what  was  that  but  part  of  the 
affliction  borne  by  the  just  among  them,  who  were 
despised  for  the  sins  of  their  brethren  ? — But  you 
have  not  rejected  me." 

Mirah  had  changed  her  tone  in  this  last  sen- 
tence, having  suddenly  reflected  that  at  this 
moment  she  had  reason  not  for  complaint  but  for 

"  And  we  will  try  to  save  you  from  being  judged 
unjustly  by  others,  my  poor  child,"  said  Mrs  Mey- 
rick,  who  had  now  given  up  aU  attempt  at  going 
on  with  her  work,  and  sat  listening  with  folded 
hands  and  a  face  hardly  less  eager  than  Mab's 
would  have  been.     "Go  on,  go  on :  tell  me  all." 

"  After  that  we  lived  in  different  towns — Ham- 
burg and  Vienna,  the  longest.  I  began  to  study 
singing  again,  and  my  father  always  got  money 
about  the  theatres.  I  think  he  brought  a  good 
deal  of  money  from  America  :  I  never  knew  why 
we  left.  For  some  time  he  was  in  great  spirits 
about  my  singing,  and  he  made  me  rehearse  parts 


and  act  continually.  He  looked  forward  to  my 
coming  out  in  the  opera.  But  by-and-by  it  seemed 
that  my  voice  would  never  be  strong  enough — it 
did  not  fulfil  its  promise.  My  master  at  Vienna 
said,  *  Don't  strain  it  further :  it  will  never  do  for 
the  public : — it  is  gold,  but  a  thread  of  gold  dust.' 
My  father  was  bitterly  disappointed  :  we  were  not 
so  well  off  at  that  time.  I  think  I  have  not  quite 
told  you  what  I  felt  about  my  father.  I  knew  he 
was  fond  of  me  and  meant  to  indulge  me,  and  that 
made  me  afraid  of  hurting  him  ;  but  he  always 
mistook  what  would  please  me  and  give  me  happi- 
ness. It  was  his  nature  to  take  everything  lightly ; 
and  I  soon  left  off  asking  him  any  question  about 
things  that  I  cared  for  much,  because  he  always 
turned  them  off  with  a  joke.  He  would  even 
ridicule  our  own  people ;  and  once  when  he  had 
been  imitating  their  movements  and  their  tones  in 
praying,  only  to  make  others  laugh,  I  could  not 
restrain  myself— for  I  always  had  an  anger  in  my 
heart  about  my  mother — and  when  we  were  alone, 
I  said,  '  Father,  you  ought  not  to  mimic  our  own 
people  before  Christians  who  mock  them :  would  it 
not  be  bad  if  I  mimicked  you,  that  they  might 
mock  you  ? '  But  he  only  shrugged  his  shoulders 
and  laughed  and  pinched  my  chin,  and  said, '  You 
couldn't  do  it,  my  dear.'     It  was  this  way  of  turn- 


ing  off  everything,  that  made  a  great  wall  between 
me  and  my  father,  and  whatever  I  felt  most  I 
took  the  most  care  to  hide  from  him.  For  there 
were  some  things  —  when  they  were  laughed  at 
I  could  not  bear  it :  the  world  seemed  like  a  hell 
to  me.  Is  this  world  and  all  the  life  upon  it  only 
like  a  farce  or  a  vaudeville,  where  you  find  no 
great  meanings  ?  Why  then  are  there  tragedies  and 
grand  operas,  where  men  do  diflBcult  things  and 
choose  to  suffer  ?  I  think  it  is  silly  to  speak  of  all 
things  as  a  joke.  And  I  saw  that  his  wishing  me  to 
sing  the  greatest  music,  and  parts  in  grand  operas, 
was  only  wishing  for  what  would  fetch  the  great- 
est price.  That  hemmed  in  my  gratitude  for  his 
affectionateness,  and  the  tenderest  feeling  I  had 
towards  him  was  pity.  Yes,  I  did  sometimes  pity 
him.  He  had  aged  and  changed.  Now  he  was 
no  longer  so  lively.  I  thought  he  seemed  worse — 
less  good  to  others  and  to  me.  Every  now  and  then 
in  the  latter  years  his  gaiety  went  away  suddenly, 
and  he  would  sit  at  home  silent  and  gloomy ;  or  he 
would  come  in  and  fling  himself  down  and  sob, 
just  as  I  have  done  myself  when  I  have  been  in 
trouble.  If  I  put  my  hand  on  his  knee  and  said, 
*  What  is  the  matter,  father  ? '  he  would  make  no 
answer,  but  would  draw  my  arm  round  his  neck 
and  put  his  arm  round  me,   and  go  on  crying. 


There  never  came  any  confidence  between  ns ;  but 
ob,  I  was  sorry  for  him.  At  those  moments  I 
knew  he  must  feel  his  life  bitter,  and  I  pressed  my 
cheek  against  his  head  and  prayed.  Those  mo- 
ments were  what  most  bound  me  to  him  ;  and  I 
used  to  think  how  much  my  mother  once  loved 
him,  else  she  would  not  have  married  him. 

"  But  soon  there  came  the  dreadful  time.  We 
had  been  at  Pestb  and  we  came  back  to  Vienna. 
In  spite  of  what  my  master  Leo  had  said,  my 
father  got  me  an  engagement,  not  at  the  opera,- 
but  to  take  singing  parts  at  a  suburb  theatre  in 
Vienna.  He  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  theatre 
then ;  I  did  not  understand  what  he  did,  but  I 
think  he  was  continually  at  a  gambling-house, 
though  he  was  careful  always  about  taking  me  to 
the  theatre.  I  was  very  miserable.  The  plays  I 
acted  in  were  detestable  to  me.  Men  came  about 
us  and  wanted  to  talk  to  me :  women  and  men 
seemed  to  look  at  me  with  a  sneering  smile :  it  was 
no  better  than  a  fiery  furnace.  Perhaps  I  make 
it  worse  than  it  was — you  don't  know  that  life  ; 
but  the  glare  and  the  faces,  and  my  having  to  go 
on  and  act  and  sing  what  I  hated,  and  then  see 
people  who  came  to  stare  at  me  behind  the  scenes 
— it  was  all  so  much  worse  than  when  I  was  a 
little  girl.     I  went  through  with  it ;  I  did  it ;    I 


had  set  my  mind  to  o"bey  my  father  and  work,  for 
I  saw  nothing  better  that  I  could  do.  But  I  felt 
that  my  voice  was  getting  weaker,  and  I  knew 
that  my  acting  was  not  good  except  when  it  was 
not  really  acting,  but  the  part  was  one  that  I  could 
be  myself  in,  and  some  feeling  within  me  carried 
me  along.     That  was  seldom. 

"  Then  in  the  midst  of  all  this,  the  news  came 
to  me  one  morning  that  my  father  had  been  taken 
to  prison,  and  he  had  sent  for  me.  He  did  not  tell 
me  the  reason  why  he  was  there,  but  he  ordered 
me  to  go  to  an  address  he  gave  me;  to  see  a  Count 
who  would  be  able  to  get  him  released  The  ad- 
dress was  to  some  public  rooms  where  I  was  to  ask 
for  the  Count,  and  beg  him  to  come  to  my  father. 
I  found  him,  and  recognised  him  as  a  gentleman 
whom  I  had  seen  the  other  night  for  the  first  time 
behind  the  scenes.  That  agitated  me,  for  I  remem- 
bered his  way  of  looking  at  me  and  kissing  my 
hand — I  thought  it  was  in  mockery.  But  I  de- 
livered my  errand  and  he  promised  to  go  immedi- 
ately to  my  father,  who  came  home  again  that  very 
evening,  bringing  the  Count  with  him.  I  now 
began  to  feel  a  horrible  dread  of  this  man,  for  he 
worried  me  with  his  attentions,  his  eyes  were 
always  on  me :  I  felt  sure  that  whatever  else  there 
might  be  in  his  mind  towards  me,  below  it  all 


there  was  scorn  for  the  Jewess  and  the  actress. 
And  when  he  came  to  me  the  next  day  in  the 
theatre  and  would  put  my  shawl  round  me,  a  terror 
took  hold  of  me  ;  I  saw  that  my  father  wanted  me 
to  look  pleased.  The  Count  was  neither  very 
young  nor  very  old :  his  hair  and  eyes  were  pale ; 
he  was  tall  and  walked  heavily,  and  his  face  was 
heavy  and  grave  except  when  he  looked  at  me. 
He  smiled  at  me,  and  his  smile  went  through  me 
with  horror  :  I  could  not  tell  why  he  was  so  much 
worse  to  me  than  other  men.  Some  feelings  are 
like  our  hearing :  they  come  as  sounds  do,  hefore 
we  know  their  reason.  My  father  talked  to  me 
about  him  when  we  were  alone,  and  praised  him 
— said  what  a  good  friend  he  had  been.  I  said 
nothing,  because  I  supposed  he  had  got  my  father 
out  of  prison.  When  the  Count  came  again,  my 
father  left  the  room.  He  asked  me  if  I  liked 
being  on  the  stage.  I  said  No,  I  only  acted  in 
obedience  to  my  father.  He  always  spoke  French, 
and  called  me  '  petit  ange '  and  such  things,  which 
I  felt  insulting.  I  knew  he  meant  to  make  love 
to  me,  and  I  had  it  firmly  in  my  mind  that  a 
nobleman  and  one  who  was  not  a  Jew  could  have 
no  love  for  me  that  was  not  half  contempt. 
But  then  he  told  me  that  I  need  not  act  any 
longer ;    he   wished    me    to    visit    him    at    his 


beautiful  place,  where  I  might  be  queen  of  every- 
thing. It  was  difficult  to  me  to  speak,  I  felt  so 
shaken  with  anger:  I  could  only  say,  *I  would 
rather  stay  on  the  stage  for  ever,'  and  I  left  him 
there.  Hurrying  out  of  the  room  I  saw  my  father 
sauntering  in  the  passage.  My  heart  was  crushed. 
I  went  past  him  and  locked  myself  up.  It  had 
sunk  into  me  that  my  father  was  in  a  conspiracy 
with  that  man  against  me.  But  the  next  day  he 
persuaded  me  to  come  out :  he  said  that  I  had 
mistaken  everything,  and  he  would  explain :  if  I 
did  not  come  out  and  act  and  fulfil  my  engage- 
ment, we  should  be  ruined  and  he  must  starve. 
So  I  went  on  acting,  and  for  a  week  or  more  the 
Count  never  came  near  me.  My  father  changed 
our  lodgings,  and  kept  at  home  except  when  he 
went  to  the  theatre  with  m6.  He.  began  one  day 
to  speak  discouragingly  of  my  acting,  and  say  I 
could  never  go  on  singing  in  public — I  should 
lose  my  voice — I  ought  to  think  of  my  future,  and 
not  put  my  nonsensical  feelings  between  me  and 
my  fortune.  He  said,  *  What  will  you  do  ?  You 
will  be  brought  down  to  sing  and  beg  at  people's 
doors.  You  have  had  a  splendid  offer  and  ought 
to  accept  it.'  I  could  not  speak :  a  horror  took 
possession  of  me  when  I  thought  of  my  mother 
and  of  him.     I  felt  for  the  first  time  that  I  should 


not  do  wrong  to  leave  him.  But  the  next  day  he 
told  me  that  he  had  put  an  end  to  my  engagement 
at  the  theatre,  and  that  we  were  to  go  to  Prague. 
I  was  getting  suspicious  of  everything,  and  my 
will  was  hardening  to  act  against  him.  It  took  us 
two  days  to  pack  and  get  ready ;  and  I  had  it  in 
my  mind  that  I  might  be  obliged  to  run  away 
from  my  father,  and  then  I  would  come  to  Lon- 
don and  try  if  it  were  possible  to  find  my  mother. 
1  had  a  little  money,  and  I  sold  some  things  to 
get  more.  I  packed  a  few  clothes  in  a  little 
bag  that  I  could  carry  with  me,  and  I  kept  my 
mind  on  the  watch.  My  father's  silence — his  let- 
ting drop  that  subject  of  the  Count's  offer — made 
me  feel  sure  that  there  was  a  plan  against  me. 
I  felt  as  if  it  had  been  a  plan  to  take  me  to  a 
madhouse.  I  once  saw  a  picture  of  a  madhouse, 
that  I  could  never  forget ;  it  seemed  to  me  very 
much  like  some  of  the  life  I  had  seen — the  people 
strutting,  quarrelling,  leering — the  faces  with 
cunning  and  malice  in  them.  It  was  my  will  to 
keep  myself  from  wickedness ;  and  I  prayed  for 
help.  I  had  seen  what  despised  women  were : 
and  my  heart  turned  against  my  father,  for  I  saw 
always  behind  him  that  man  who  made  me  shud- 
der. You  wiU  think  I  had  not  enough  reason  for 
my  suspicions,  and  perhaps  I  had  not,  outside  my 


own  feeling ;  but  it  seemed  to  me  that  my  mind 
had  been  lit  up,  and  all  that  might  be  stood  out 
clear  and  sharp.  If  I  slept,  it  was  only  to  see  the 
same  sort  of  things,  and  I  could  hardly  sleep  at 
all.  Through  our  journey  I  was  everywhere  on 
the  watch.  I  don't  know  why,  but  it  came  before 
me  like  a  real  event,  that  my  father  would  sud- 
denly leave  me  and  I  should  find  myself  with  the 
Count  where  I  could  not  get  away  from  him.  I 
thought  God  was  warning  me :  my  mother's  voice 
was  in  my  soul.  It  was  dark  when  we  reached 
Prague,  and  though  the  strange  bunches  of  lamps 
were  lit  it  was  difficult  to  distinguish  faces  as  we 
drove  along  the  street.  My  father  chose  to  sit 
outside — he  was  always  smoking  now — and  I 
watched  everything  in  spite  of  the  darkness.  I  do 
believe  I  could  see  better  then  than  ever  I  did  be- 
fore :  the  strange  clearness  within  seemed  to  have 
got  outside  me.  It  was  not  my  habit  to  notice 
faces  and  figures  much  in  the  street ;  but  this  night  I 
saw  every  one ;  and  when  we  passed  before  a  great 
hotel  I  caught  sight  only  of  a  back  that  was  passing 
in — the  light  of  the  great  bunch  of  lamps  a  good 
way  off  feU  on  it.  I  knew  it — before  the  face  was 
turned,  as  it  fell  into  shadow,  I  knew  who  it  was. 
Help  came  to  me.  I  feel  sure  help  came  to  me. 
I  did  not  sleep  that  night.     I  put  on  my  plainest 


things — the  cloak  and  hat  I  have  worn  ever  since ; 
and  I  sat  watching  for  the  light  and  the  sound  of 
the  doors  being  unbarred.  Some  one  rose  early 
— at  four  o'clock,  to  go  to  the  railway.  That  gave 
me  courage.  I  slipped  out  with  my  little  bag 
under  my  cloak,  and  none  noticed  me.  I  had 
been  a  long  while  attending  to  the  railway  guide 
that  I  might  learn  the  way  to  England  ;  and  before 
the  sun  had  risen  I  was  in  the  train  for  Dresden. 
Then  I  cried  for  joy.  I  did  not  know  whether 
my  money  would  last  out,  but  I  trusted.  I  could 
sell  the  things  in  my  bag,  and  the  little  rings  in 
my  ears,  and  I  could  live  on  bread  only.  My 
only  terror  was  lest  my  father  should  follow  me. 
But  I  never  paused.  I  came  on,  and  on,  and  on, 
only  eating  bread  now  and  then.  When  I  got  to 
Brussels  I  saw  that  I  should  not  have  enough 
money,  and  I  sold  all  that  I  could  sell ;  but  here 
a  strange  thing  happened.  Putting  my  hand  into 
the  pocket  of  my  cloak,  I  found  a  half-napoleon. 
Wondering  and  wondering  how  it  came  there,  I 
remembered  that  on  the  way  from  Cologne  there 
wasu  a  young  workman  sitting  against  me.  I  was 
frightened  at  every  one,  and  did  not  like  to  be 
spoken  to.  At  first  he  tried  to  talk,  but  when  he 
saw  that  I  did  not  like  it,  he  left  off.  It  was  a 
long  journey ;  I  ate  nothing  but  a  bit  of  bread, 


and  he  once  offered  me  some  of  the  food  he 
brought  in,  but  I  refused  it.  I  do  believe  it  was 
he  who  put  that  bit  of  gold  in  my  pocket.  With- 
out it  I  could  hardly  have  got  to  Dover,  and  I  did 
walk  a  good  deal  of  the  way  from  Dover  to  Lon- 
don. I  knew  I  should  look  like  a  miserable  beg- 
gar-girl. .1  wanted  not  to  look  very  miserable, 
because  if  I  found  my  mother  it  would  grieve  her 
to  see  me  so.  But  oh,  how  vain  my  hope  was  that 
she  would  be  there  to  see  me  come !  As  soon  as 
I  set  foot  in  London,  I  began  to  ask  for  Lambeth 
and  Blackfriars  Bridge,  but  they  were  a  long  way 
off,  and  I  went  wrong.  At  last  I  got  to  Blackfriars 
Bridge  and  asked  for  Colman  Street.  People 
shook  their  heads.  None  knew  it.  I  saw  it  in 
my  mind  —  our  doorsteps,  and  the  white  tiles 
hung  in  the  windows,  and  the  large  brick  build- 
ing opposite  with  wide  doors.  But  there  was 
nothing  like  it.  At  last  when  I  asked  a  trades- 
man where  the  Coburg  Theatre  and  Colman 
Street  were,  he  said,  *0h,  my  little  woman, 
that's  all  done  away  with.  The  old  streets 
have  been  pulled  down ;  everything  is  new.' 
I  turned  away,  and  felt  as  if  death  had  laid  a 
hand  on  me.  He  said :  '  Stop,  stop !  young 
woman ;  what  is  it  you're  wanting  with  Colman 
Street,  eh?'    meaning  well,   perhaps.      But  his 

VOL.  IL  0 


tone  was  what  I  could  not  bear ;  and  how  could 
I  tell  him  what  I  wanted?  I  felt  blinded  and 
bewildered  with  a  sudden  shock.  I  suddenly  felt 
that  I  was  very  weak  and  weary,  and  yet  where 
could  I  go  ?  for  I  looked  so  poor  and  dusty,  and 
had  nothing  with  me — I  looked  like  a  street- 
beggar.  And  I  was  afraid  of  all  places  where  I 
could  enter.  I  lost  my  trust.  I  thought  I  was 
forsaken.  It  seemed  that  I  had  been  in  a  fever 
of  hope — delirious — all  the  way  from  Prague  :  I 
thought  that  I  was  helped,  and  I  did  nothing  but 
strain  my  mind  forward  and  think  of  finding  my 
mother;  and  now — there  I  stood  in  a  strange  world. 
All  who  saw  me  would  think  ill  of  me,  and  I 
must  herd  with  beggars.  I  stood  on  the  bridge 
and  looked  along  the  river.  People  were  going 
on  to  a  steamboat.  Many  of  them  seemed  poor, 
and  I  felt  as  if  it  would  be  a  refuge  to  get  away 
from  the  streets  :  perhaps  the  boat  would  take  me 
where  I  could  soon  get  into  a  solitude.  I  had  still 
some  pence  left,  and  I  bought  a  loaf  when  I  went 
on  the  boat.  I  wanted  to  have  a  little  time  and 
strength  to  think  of  life  and  death.  How  could 
I  live  ?  And  now  again  it  seemed  that  if  ever  I 
were  to  find  my  mother  again,  death  was  the  way 
to  her.  I  ate,  that  I  might  have  strength  to  think. 
The  boat  set  me  down  at  a  place  along  the  river 


— I  don't  know  where — and  it  was  late  in  the 
evening.  I  found  some  large  trees  apart  from  the 
road  and  I  sat  down  under  them  that  I  might 
rest  through  the  night.  Sleep  must  have  soon 
come  to  me,  and  when  I  awoke  it  was  morning. 
The  hirds  were  singing,  the  dew  was  white  about 
me,  I  felt  chill  and  oh  so  lonely !  I  got  up  and 
walked  and  followed  the  river  a  long  way  and  then 
turned  back  again.  There  was  no  reason  why  I 
should  go  anywhere.  The  world  about  me  seemed 
like  a  vision  that  was  hurrying  by  while  I  stood 
still  with  my  pain.  My  thoughts  were  stronger 
than  I  was :  they  rushed  in  and  forced  me  to  see 
all  my  life  from  the  beginning ;  ever  since  I  was 
carried  away  from  my  mother  I  had  felt  myself  a 
lost  child  taken  up  and  used  by  strangers,  who  did 
not  care  what  my  life  was  to  me,  but  only  what  I 
could  do  for  them.  It  seemed  all  a  weary  wander- 
ing and  heart-loneHness — as  if  I  had  been  forced  to 
go  to  merry-makings  without  the  expectation  of 
joy.  And  now  it  was  worse.  I  was  lost  again, 
and  I  dreaded  lest  any  stranger  should  notice  me 
and  speak  to  me.  I  had  a  terror  of  the  world. 
None  knew  me;  all  would  mistake  me.  I  had 
seen  so  many  in  my  life  who  made  themselves 
glad  with  scorning,  and  laughed  at  another's  shame. 
What  could  I  do  ?    This  life  seemed  to  be  closing 


in  upon  me  with  a  wall  of  fire — everywhere  there 
was  scorching  that  made  me  shrink.  The  high 
sunlight  made  me  shrink.  And  I  began  to  think 
that  my  despair  was  the  voice  of  God  telling  me 
to  die.  But  it  would  take  me  long  to  die  of 
hunger.  Then  I  thought  of  my  People,  how  they 
had  been  driven  from  land  to  land  and  been 
afflicted,  and  multitudes  had  died  of  misery  in  their 
wandering — was  I  the  first?  And  in  the  wars 
and  troubles  when  Christians  were  crudest,  our 
fathers  had  sometimes  slain  their  children  and 
afterwards  themselves  ;  it  was  to  save  them  from 
being  false  apostates.  That  seemed  to  make  it 
right  for  me  to  put  an  end  to  my  life ;  for  calamity 
had  closed  me  in  too,  and  I  saw  no  pathway  but 
to  evil.  But  my  mind  got  into  war  with  itself, 
for  there  were  contrary  things  in  it.  I  knew  that 
some  had  held  it  wrong  to  hasten  their  own  death, 
though  they  were  in  the  midst  of  flames ;  and 
while  I  had  some  strength  left,  it  was  a  longing  to 
bear  if  I  ought  to  bear — else  where  was  the  good 
of  all  my  life  ?  It  had  not  been  happy  since  the 
first  years :  when  the  light  came  every  morning 
I  used  to  think,  '  I  will  bear  it.'  But  always  be- 
fore, I  had  some  hope ;  now  it  was  gone.  With 
these  thoughts  I  wandered  and  wandered,  in- 
wardly crying  to  the  Most  High,  from  whom  I 


should  not  flee  in  death  more  than  in  life — though 
I  had  no  strong  faith  that  He  cared  for  me.  The 
strength  seemed  departing  from  my  soul:  deep 
below  all  my  cries  was  the  feeling  that  I  was 
alone  and  forsaken.  The  more  I  thought,  the 
wearier  I  got,  till  it  seemed  I  was  not  thinking  at 
all,  but  only  the  sky  and  the  river  and  the  Eternal 
God  were  in  my  souL  And  what  was  it  whether 
I  died  or  lived  1  If  I  lay  down  to  die  in  the  river, 
was  it  more  than  lying  down  to  sleep  ? — for  there 
too  I  committed  my  soul — I  gave  myself  up.  I 
could  not  hear  memories  any  more :  I  could  only 
feel  what  was  present  in  me — ^it  was  all  one  longing 
to  cease  from  my  weary  life,  which^seemed  only  a 
pain  outside  the  great  peace  that  I  might  enter 
into.  That  was  how  it  was.  When  the  evening 
came  and  the  sun  was  gone,  it  seemed  as  if  that 
was  all  I  had  to  wait  for.  And  a  new  strength 
came  into  me  to  will  what  I  would  do.  You 
know  what  I  did.  I  was  going  to  die.  You 
know  what  happened  —  did  he  not  tell  you? 
Faith  came  to  me  again:  I  was  not  forsaken. 
He  told  you  how  he  found  me?" 

Mrs   Meyrick   gave   no   audible    answer,  but 
pressed  her  lips  against  Mirah's  forehead. 

"She's  just  a  pearl :  the  mud  has  only  washed 


her/^  was  the  fervid  little  woman's  closing  com- 
mentary when,  tete-cb-tete  with  Deronda  in  the 
back  parlour  that  evening,  she  had  conveyed 
Mirah's  story  to  him  with  much  vividness. 

"  What  is  your  feeling  about  a  search  for  this 
mother?"  said  Deronda.  "Have  you  no  fears? 
I  have,  I  confess." 

"Oh,  I  believe  the  mother's  good,"  said  Mrs 
Meyrick,  with  rapid  decisiveness.  "  Or  was  good. 
She  may  be  dead — that's  my  fear.  A  good  woman, 
you  may  depend :  you  may  know  it  by  the  scoun- 
drel the  father  is.  Where  did  the  child  get  her 
goodness  from?  Wheaten  flour  has  to  be  ac- 
counted for." 

Deronda  was  rather  disappointed  at  this  answer : 
he  had  wanted^ a  confirmation  of  his  own  judg- 
ment, and  he  began  to  put  in  demurrers.  The 
argument  about  the  mother  would  not  apply  to 
the  brother ;  and  Mrs  Meyrick  admitted  that  the 
brother  might  be  an  ugly  likeness  of  the  father. 
Then,  as  to  advertising,  if  the  name  was  Cohen, 
you  might  as  well  advertise  for  two  undescribed 
terriers :  and  here  Mrs  Meyrick  helped  him,  for 
the  idea  of  an  advertisement,  already  mentioned 
to  Mirah,  had  roused  the  poor  child's  terror: 
she  was  convinced  that  her  father  would  see  it — 
he  saw  everything  in  the  papers.     Certainly  there 


were  safer  means  than  advertising :  men  might  be 
set  to  work  whose  business  it  was  to  find  missing 
persons ;  but  Deronda  wished  Mrs  Meyrick  to  feel 
with  him  that  it  would  be  wiser  to  wait,  before 
seeking  a  dubious — perhaps  a  deplorable  result; 
especially  as  he  was  engaged  to  go  abroad  the 
next  week  for  a  couple  of  months.  If  a  search 
were  made,  he  would  like  to  be  at  hand,  so  that 
Mrs  Meyrick  might  not  be  unaided  in  meeting 
any  consequences — supposing  that  she  would  gen- 
erously continue  to  watch  over  Mirah. 

"We  should  be  very  jealous  of  any  one  who 
took  the  task  from  us,"  said  Mrs  Meyrick.  '*  She 
will  stay  under  my  roof :  there  is  Hans's  old  room 
for  her." 

"  Will  she  be  content  to  wait  ? "  said  Deronda, 

"No  trouble  there!  It  is  not  her  nature 
to  run  into  planning  and  devising ;  only  to  sub- 
mit. See  how  she  submitted  to  that  father. 
It  was  a  wonder  to  herself  how  she  found  the  will 
and  contrivance  to  run  away  from  him.  About 
finding  her  mother,  her  only  notion  now  is  to 
trust :  since  you  were  sent  to  save  her  and  we 
are  good  to  her,  she  trusts  that  her  mother  will 
be  found  in  the  same  unsought  way.  And  when 
she  is  talking  I  catch  her  feeling  like  a  child." 


Mrs  Meyrick  hoped  that  the  sum  Deronda  put 
into  her  hands  as  a  provision  for  Mirah's  wants 
was  more  than  would  be  needed :  after  a  little 
while  Mirah  would  perhaps  like  to  occupy  herself 
as  the  other  girls  did,  and  make  herself  independent. 
Deronda  pleaded  that  she  must  need  a  long  rest. 

"  Oh  yes ;  we  will  hurry  nothing,"  said  Mrs 
Meyrick.  "  Eely  upon  it,  she  shall  be  taken  ten- 
der care  of.  If  you  like  to  give  me  your  address 
abroad,  I  will  write  to  let  you  know  how  we  get 
on.  It  is  not  fair  that  we  should  have  all  the 
pleasure  of  her  salvation  to  ourselves.  And  be- 
sides, I  want  to  make  believe  that  I  am  doing 
something  for  you  as  well  as  for  Mirah.'* 

"That  is  no  make-believe.  What  should  I 
have  done  without  you  last  night?  Everything 
would  have  gone  wrong.  I  shall  tell  Hans  that 
the  best  of  having  him  for  a  friend  is,  knowing 
his  mother." 

After  that  they  joined  the  girls  in  the  other 
room,  where  Mirah  was  seated  placidly,  while  the 
others  were  telling  her  what  they  knew  about  Mr 
Deronda — his  goodness  to  Hans,  and  all  the  vir- 
tues that  Hans  had  reported  of  him. 

"  Kate  burns  a  pastille  before  his  portrait  every 
day,"  said  Mab.  "  And  I  carry  his  signature  in  a 
little  black-silk  bag  round  my  neck  to  keep  off  the 


cramp.  And  Amy  says  the  multiplication-table 
in  his  name.  We  must  all  do  something  extra 
in  honour  of  him,  now  he  has  brought  you  to  us.'* 

"I  suppose  he  is  too  great  a  person  to  want 
anything,"  said  Mirah,  smiling  at  Mab,  and  ap- 
pealing to  the  graver  Amy.  "  He  is  perhaps  very 
high  in  the  world  ?  '* 

"  He  is  very  much  above  us  in  rank,"  said  Amy. 
"  He  is  related  to  grand  people.  I  daresay  he 
leans  on  some  of  the  satin  cushions  we  prick  our 
fingers  over." 

"  I  am  glad  he  is  of  high  rank,"  said  Mirah, 
with  her  usual  quietness. 

"  Now,  why  are  you  glad  of  that  ? "  said  Amy, 
rather  suspicious  of  this  sentiment,  and  on  the 
watch  for  Jewish  peculiarities  which  had  not 

"Because  I  have  always  disliked  men  of  high 
rank  before." 

"  Oh,  Mr  Deronda  is  not  so  very  high,"  said 
Kate.  "  He  need  not  hinder  us  from  thinking  ill 
of  the  whole  peerage  and  baronetage  if  we  like." 

When  he  entered,  Mirah  rose  with  the  same 
look  of  grateful  reverence  that  she  had  lifted  to 
him  the  evening  before :  impossible  to  see  a  crea- 
ture freer  at  once  from  embarrassment  and  bold- 
ness.    Her  theatrical  training  had  left  no  recog- 


nisable  trace;  probably  her  manners  had  not 
much  changed  since  she  played  the  forsaken  child 
at  nine  years  of  age ;  and  she  had  grown  up  in  her 
simplicity  and  truthfulness  like  a  little  flower- 
seed  that  absorbs  the  chance  confusion  of  its 
surroundings  into  its  own  definite  mould  of  beauty. 
Deronda  felt  that  he  was  making  acquaintance 
with  something  quite  new  to  him  in  the  form  of 
womanhood.  Tor  Mirah  was  not  childlike  from 
ignorance :  her  experience  of  evil  and  trouble 
was  deeper  and  stranger  than  his  own.  He  felt 
inclined  to  watch  her  and  listen  to  her  as  if  sbe 
had  come  from  a  far-off  shore  inhabited  by  a  race 
different  from  our  own. 

But  for  that  very  reason  he  made  his  visit  brief : 
with  his  usual  activity  of  imagination  as  to  how  his 
conduct  might  affect  others,  he  shrank  from  what 
might  seem  like  curiosity,  or  the  assumption  of  a 
right  to  know  as  much  as  he  pleased  of  one  to 
whom  he  had  done  a  service.  For  example,  he 
would  have  liked  to  hear  her  sing,  but  he  would 
have  felt  the  expression  of  such  a  wish  to  be  a  rude- 
ness in  him — since  she  could  not  refuse,  and  he 
would  all  the  while  have  a  sense  that  she  was 
being  treated  like  one  whose  accomplishments 
were  to  be  ready  on  demand.  And  whatever 
reverence  could  be  shown  to  woman,  he  was  bent 


on  showing  to  this  girl.  Why  1  He  gave  himself 
several  good  reasons ;  but  whatever  one  does  with 
a  strong  unhesitating  outflow  of  will,  has  a  store  i 
of  motive  that  it  would  be  hard  to  put  into  } 
words.  Some  deeds  seem  little  more  than  inter- 
jections which  give  vent  to  the  long  passion  of 
a  life. 

So  Deronda  soon  took  his  farewell  for  the  two 
months  during  which  he  expected  to  be  absent 
from  London,  and  in  a  few  days  he  was  on  his  way 
with  Sir  Hugo  and  Lady  Mallinger  to  Leubronn. 

He  had  fulfilled  his  intention  of  telling  them 
about  Mirah.  The  baronet  was  decidedly  of 
opinion  that  the  search  for  the  mother  and  brother 
had  better  be  let  alone.  Lady  Mallinger  was 
much  interested  in  the  poor  girl,  observing  that 
there  was  a  Society  for  the  Conversion  of  the 
Jews,  and  that  it  was  to  be  hoped  Mirah  would 
embrace  Christianity;  but  perceiving  that  Sir  Hugo 
looked  at  her  with  amusement,  she  concluded  that 
she  had  said  something  foolish.  Lady  Mallinger 
felt  apologetically  about  herself  as  a  woman  who 
had  produced  nothing  but  daughters  in  a  case 
where  sons  were  required,  and  hence  regarded  the 
apparent  contradictions  of  the  world  as  probably 
due  to  the  weakness  of  her  own  understanding. 
But  when  she  was  much  puzzled,  it  was  her  habit 


to  say  to  herself,  "I  will  ask  Daniel."  Der- 
onda  was  altogether  a  convenience  in  the  family; 
and  Sir  Hugo  too,  after  intending  to  do  the  best 
for  him,  had  begun  to  feel  that  the  pleasantest 
result  would  be  to  have  this  substitute  for  a  son 
always  ready  at  his  elbow. 

This  was  the  history  of  Deronda,  so  far  as  he 
knew  it,  up  to  the  time  of  that  visit  to  Leubronn 
in  which  he  saw  Gwendolen  Harleth  at  the  gam- 



It  is  a  common  sentence  that  Knowledge  is  power ;  but  who  hath  duly 
considered  or  set  forth  the  power  of  Ignorance  ?  Knowledge  slowly  builds 
up  what  Ignorance  in  an  hour  pulls  down.  Knowledge,  through  patient 
and  frugal  centuries,  enlarges  discovery  and  makes  record  of  it ;  Ignor- 
ance, wanting  its  day's  dinner,  lights  a  fire  with  the  record,  and  gives  a 
flavour  to  its  one  roast  with  the  burnt  souls  of  many  generations.  Know- 
ledge, instructing  the  sense,  refining  and  multiplying  needs,  transforms 
Itself  into  skill  and  makes  life  various  with  a  new  six  days'  work ;  comes 
Ignorance  drunk  on  the  seventh,  with  a  firkin  of  oil  and  a  match  and  an 
easy  "  Let  th'ere  not  be  " — and  the  many-coloured  creation  is  shrivelled  up 
in  blackness.  Of  a  truth,  Knowledge  is  power,  but  it  is  a  power  reined  by 
scruple,  having  a  conscience  of  what  must  be  and  what  may  be  ;  whereas 
Ignorance  is  a  blind  giant  who,  let  him  but  wax  unbound,  would  make  it  a 
sport  to  seize  the  pillars  that  hold  up  the  long-wrought  fabric  of  human 
good,  and  turn  all  the  places  of  joy  dark  as  a  buried  Babylon.  And  looking 
at  life  parcel-wise,  in  the  growth  of  a  single  lot,  who  having  a  practised 
nsion  may  not  see  that  ignorance  of  the  true  bond  between  events,  and  false 
conceit  of  means  whereby  sequences  may  be  compelled— like  that  falsity  of 
eyesight  which  overlooks  the  gradations  of  distance,  seeing  that  which  is 
afar  off  as  if  it  were  within  a  step  or  a  grasp— precipitates  the  mistaken 
Boul  on  destruction? 

It  was  half-past  ten  in  the  morning  when  Gwen- 
dolen Harleth,  after  her  gloomy  journey  from 
Leubronn,  arrived  at  the  station  from  which  she 
must  drive  to  Offendene.  No  carriage  or  friend 
was  awaiting  her,  for  in  the  telegram  she  had 
sent  from  Dover  she  had  mentioned  a  later  train, 


and  in  her  impatience  of  lingering  at  a  London 
station  she  had  set  off  without  picturing  what  it 
would  be  to  arrive  unannounced  at  half  an  hour's 
drive  from  home — at  one  of  those  stations  which 
have  been  fixed  on  not  as  near  anywhere  but 
as  equidistant  from  everywhere.  Deposited  as  a 
feme  sole  with  her  large  trunks,  and  having  to 
wait  while  a  vehicle  was  being  got  from  the  large- 
sized  lantern  called  the  Eailway  Inn,  Gwendolen 
felt  that  the  dirty  paint  in  the  waiting-room,  the 
dusty  decanter  of  flat  water,  and  the  texts  in  large 
letters  calling  on  her  to  repent  and  be  converted, 
were  part  of  the  dreary  prospect  opened  by  her 
family  troubles;  and  she  hurried  away  to  the 
outer  door  looking  towards  the  lane  and  fields. 
But  here  the  very  gleams  of  sunshine  seemed 
melancholy,  for  the  autumnal  leaves  and  grass 
were  shivering,  and  the  wind  was  turning  up  the 
feathers  of  a  cock  and  two  croaking  hens  which 
had  doubtless  parted  with  their  grown-up  off- 
spring and  did  not  know  what  to  do  with  them- 
selves. The  railway  official  also  seemed  without 
resources,  and  his  innocent  demeanour  in  observ- 
ing Gwendolen  and  her  trunks  was  rendered 
intolerable  by  the  cast  in  his  eye ;  especially 
since,  being  a  new  man,  he  did  not  know  her,  and 
must  conclude  that  she  was  not  very  high  in  the 


world.  The  vehicle — a  dirty  old  barouche — was 
within  sight,  and  was  being  slowly  prepared  by 
an  elderly  labourer.  Contemptible  details  these, 
to  make  part  of  a  history ;  yet  the  turn  of  most 
lives  is  hardly  to  be  accounted  for  without  them. 
They  are  continually  entering  with  cumulative 
force  into  a  mood  until  it  gets  the  mass  and 
momentum  of  a  theory  or  a  motive.  Even  phil- 
osophy is  not  quite  free  from  such  determining 
influences ;  and  to  be  dropt  solitary  at  an  ugly 
irrelevant-looking  spot  with  a  sense  of  no  income 
on  the  mind,  might  well  prompt  a  man  to  dis- 
couraging speculation  on  the  origin  of  things  and 
the  reason  of  a  world  where  a  subtle  thinker 
found  himself  so  badly  off.  How  much,  more 
might  such  trifles  tell  on  a  young  lady  equipped 
for  society  with  a  fastidious  taste,  an  Indian 
shawl  over  her  arm,  some  ten  cubic  feet  of  trunks 
by  her  side,  and  a  mortal  dislike  to  the  new 
consciousness  of  poverty  whi(ih  was  stimulating 
her  imagination  of  disagreeables?  At  any  rate 
they  told  heavily  on  poor  Gwendolen,  and  helped 
to  quell  her  resistant  spirit.  What  was  the  good 
of  living  in  the  midst  of  hardships,  ugliness,  and 
humiliation  ?  This  was  the  beginning  of  being 
at  home  again,  and  it  was  a  sample  of  what  she 
had  to  expect. 


Here  Tvas  the  theme  on  which  her  discontent 
rung  its  sad  changes  during  her  slow  drive  in  the 
uneasy  barouche,  with  one  great  trunk  squeezing 
the  meek  driver,  and  the  other  fastened  with  a 
rope  on  the  seat  in  front  of  her.  Her  ruling  vision 
all  the  way  from  Leubronn  had  been  that  the 
family  would  go  abroad  again ;  for  of  course  there 
must  be  some  little  income  left — her  mamma  did 
not  mean  that  they  would  have  literally  nothing. 
To  go  to  a  dull  place  abroad  and  live  poorly,  was 
the  dismal  future  that  threatened  her:  she  had 
seen  plenty  of  poor  English  people  abroad,  and 
imagined  herself  plunged  in  the  despised  dulness  of 
their  ill-plenished  lives,  with  Alice,  Bertha,  Fanny, 
and  Isabel  all  growing  up  in  tediousness  around 
her,  while  she  advanced  towards  thirty,  and  her 
mamma  got  more  and  more  melancholy.  But  she 
did  not  mean  to  submit,  and  let  misfortune  do 
what  it  would  with  her :  she  had  not  yet  quite 
believed  in  the  misfortune  ;  but  weariness,  and 
disgust  with  this  wretched  arrival,  had  begun  to 
affect  her  like  an  uncomfortable  waking,  worse 
than  the  uneasy  dreams  which  had  gone  before. 
The  self-delight  with  which  she  had  kissed  her 
image  in  the  glass  had  faded  before  the  sense  of 
futility  in  being  anything  whatever — charming, 
clever,  resolute  —  what  was  the  good  of  it  all? 


Events  might  turn  out  anyhow,  and  men  were 
hateful.  Yes,  men  were  hateful.  Those  few  words 
were  filled  out  with  very  vivid  memories.  But  in 
these  last  hours,  a  certain  change  had  come  over 
their  meaning.  It  is  one  thing  to  hate  stolen 
goods,  and  another  thing  to  hate  them  the  more 
because  their  being  stolen  hinders  us  from  making 
use  of  them.  Gwendolen  had  begun  to  be  angry 
with  Grandcourt  for  being  what  had  hindered  her 
from  marrying  him,  angry  with  him  as  the  cause 
of  her  present  dreary  lot. 

But  the  slow  drive  was  nearly  at  an  end,  and 
the  lumbering  vehicle  coming  up  the  avenue  was 
within  sight  of  the  windows.  A  figure  appearing 
under  the  portico  brought  a  rush  of  new  and  less 
selfish  feeling  in  Gwendolen,  and  when  springing 
from  the  carriage  she  saw  the  dear  beautiful  face 
with  fresh  lines  of  sadness  in  it,  she  threw  her 
arms  round  her  mother's  neck,  and  for  the  moment 
felt  all  sorrows  only  in  relation  to  her  mother's 
feeling  about  them. 

Behind,  of  course,  were  the  sad  faces  of  the 
four  superfluous  girls,  each,  poor  thing — like  those 
other  many  thousand  sisters  of  us  all — ^having  her 
peculiar  world  which  was  of  no  importance  to  any 
one  else,  but  all  of  them  feeling  Gwendolen's 
presence  to  be  somehow  a  relenting  of  misfortune : 

VOL.  II.  D 


where  Gwendolen  was,  something  interesting 
would  happen ;  even  her  hurried  submission  to 
their  kisses,  and  "Now  go  away,  girls,"  carried 
the  sort  of  comfort  which  all  weakness  finds  in 
decision  and  authoritativeness.  Good  Miss  Merry, 
whose  air  of  meek  depression,  hitherto  held  un- 
accountable in  a  governess  affectionately  attached 
to  the  family,  was  now  at  the  general  level  of  cir- 
cumstances, did  not  expect  any  greeting,  but 
busied  herself  with  the  trunks  and  the  coach- 
man's pay;  while  Mrs  Davilow  and  Gwendolen 
hastened  up-stairs  and  shut  themselves  in  the 
black  and  yellow  bedroom. 

"  Never  mind,  mamma  dear,"  said  Gwendolen, 
tenderly  pressing  her  handkerchief  against  the 
tears  that  were  rolling  down  Mrs  Davilow's  cheeks. 
"  Never  mind.  I  don't  mind.  I  will  do  some- 
thing. I  will  be  something.  Things  will  come 
right.  It  seemed  worse  because  I  was  away. 
Come  now !  you  must  be  glad  because  I  am 

Gwendolen  felt  every  word  of  that  speech.  A 
rush  of  compassionate  tenderness  stirred  all  her 
capability  of  generous  resolution ;  and  the  self- 
confident  projects  which  had  vaguely  glanced 
before  her  during  her  journey  sprang  instan- 
taneously into  new  definiteness.      Suddenly  she 


seemed  to  perceive  how  she  could  be  "  something." 
It  was  one  of  her  best  moments,  and  the  fond 
mother,  forgetting  everything  below  that  tide- 
mark,  looked  at  her  with  a  sort  of  adoration. 
She  said — ^ 

"  Bless  you,  my  good,  good  darling !  I  can  be 
happy,  if  you  can  ! " 

But  later  in  the  day  there  was  an  ebb  ;  the  old 
slippery  rocks,  the  old  weedy  places  reappeared. 
Naturally,  there  was  a  shrinking  of  courage  as 
misfortune  ceased  to  be  a  mere  announcement, 
and  began  to  disclose  itself  as  a  grievous  tyran- 
nical inmate.  At  first — that  ugly  drive  at  an  end 
—  it  was  still  Offendene  that  Gwendolen  had 
come  home  to,  and  all  surroundings  of  immediate 
consequence  to  her  were  still  there  to  secure  her 
personal  ease;  the  roomy  stillness  of  the  large 
solid  house  while  she  rested ;  all  the  luxuries  of 
her  toilet  cared  for  without  trouble  to  her ;  and 
a  little  tray  with  her  favourite  food  brought  to  her 
in  private.  For  she  had  said,  "Keep  them  all 
away  from  us  to-day,  mamma.  Let  you  and  me 
be  alone  together." 

When  Gwendolen  came  down  into  the  drawing- 
room,  fresh  as  a  newly- dipped  swan,  and  sat 
leaning  against  the  cushions  of  the  settee  beside 
her  mamma,  their  misfortune  had  not  yet  turned 


its  face  and  breath  upon  her.  She  felt  prepared 
to  hear  everything,  and  began  in  a  tone  of  deli- 
berate intention : 

"What  have  you  thought  of  doing  exactly, 
mamma  ? " 

"  Oh  my  dear,  the  next  thing  to  be  done  is  to 
move  away  from  this  house.  Mr  Haynes  most 
fortunately  is  as  glad  to  have  it  now  as  he  would 
have  been  when  we  took  it.  Lord  Brackenshaw's 
agent  is  to  arrange  everything  with  him  to  the 
best  advantage  for  us :  Bazley,  you  know ;  not 
at  all  an  ill-natured  man." 

"I  cannot  help  thinking  that  Lord  Bracken- 
shaw  would  let  you  stay  here  rent-free,  mamma," 
said  Gwendolen,  whose  talents  had  not  been  ap- 
plied to  business  so  much  as  to  discernment  of 
the  admiration  excited  by  her  charms. 

"  My  dear  child,  Lord  Brackenshaw  is  in  Scot- 
land, and  knows  nothing  about  us.  Neither  your 
uncle  nor  I  would  choose  to  apply  to  him.  Be- 
sides, what  could  we  do  in  this  house  without 
servants,  and  without  money  to  warm  it?  The 
sooner  we  are  out  the  better.  We  have  nothing 
to  carry  but  our  clothes,  you  know." 

"  I  suppose  you  mean  to  go  abroad,  then  ? " 
said  Gwendolen.  After  all,  this  was  what  she 
had  familiarised  her  mind  with. 


"  Oh  no,  dear,  no.  How  could  we  travel  ?  You 
never  did  learn  anything  about  income  and  ex- 
penses," said  Mrs  Davilow,  trying  to  smile,  and 
putting  her  hand  on  Gwendolen's  as  she  added, 
mournfully,  "  that  makes  it  so  much  harder  for 
you,  my  pet." 

"  But  where  are  we  to  go  ? "  said  Gwendolen, 
with  a  trace  of  sharpness  in  her  tone.  She  felt  a 
new  current  of  fear  passing  through  her. 

"  It  is  all  decided.  A  little  furniture  is  to  be 
got  in  from  the  rectory— all  that  can  be  spared." 
Mrs  Davilow  hesitated.  She  dreaded  the  reality 
for  herself  less  than  the  shock  she  must  give 
Gwendolen,  who  looked  at  her  with  tense  expec- 
tancy, but  was  silent. 

"  It  is  Sawyer's  Cottage  we  are  to  go  to." 

At  first,  Gwendolen  remained  silent,  paling 
with  anger  — justifiable  anger,  in  her  opinion. 
Then  she  said  with  haughtiness — 

"  That  is  impossible.  Something  else  than  that 
ought  to  have  been  thought  of.  My  uncle  ought 
not  to  allow  that.     I  will  not  submit  to  it." 

"  My  sweet  child,  what  else  could  have  been 
thought  of  ?  Your  uncle,  I  am  sure,  is  as  kind  as 
he  can  be  ;  but  he  is  suffering  himself :  he  has  his 
family  to  bring  up.  And  do  you  quite  under- 
stand ?    You  must  remember — we  have  nothing. 


We  shall  have  absolutely  nothing  except  what  he 
and  my  sister  give  us.  They  have  been  as  wise 
and  active  as  possible,  and  we  must  try  to  earn 
something.  I  and  the  girls  are  going  to  work 
a  table-cloth  border  for  the  Ladies'  Charity  at 
Wancester,  and  a  communion  cloth  that  the 
parishioners  are  to  present  to  Pennicote  Church." 

Mrs  Davilow  went  into  these  details  timidly ; 
but  how  else  was  she  to  bring  the  fact  of  their 
position  home  to  this  poor  child  who,  alas !  must 
submit  at  present,  whatever  might  be  in  the 
backgTound  for  her  ?  and  she  herself  had  a  super- 
stition that  there  must  be  something  better  in  the 

"  But  surely  somewhere  else  than  Sawyer's  Cot- 
tage might  have  been  found,"  Gwendolen  per- 
sisted— taken  hold  of  (as  if  in  a  nightmare)  by  the 
image  of  this  house  where  an  exciseman  had  lived. 

"  No,  indeed,  dear.  You  know  houses  are  scarce, 
and  we  may  be  thankful  to  get  anything  so  pri- 
vate. It  is  not  so  very  bad.  There  are  two  little 
parlours  and  four  bedrooms.  You  shall  sit  alone 
whenever  you  like." 

The  ebb  of  sympathetic  care  for  her  mamma 
had  gone  so  low  just  now,  that  Gwendolen  took 
no  notice  of  these  deprecatory  words. 

"I  cannot  conceive  that  all  your  property  is 


gone  at  once,  mamma.  How  can  you  be  sure  in 
so  short  a  time  ?  It  is  not  a  week  since  you 
wrote  to  me." 

"  The  first  news  came  much  earlier,  dear.  But 
I  would  not  spoil  your  pleasure  till  it  was  quite 

"Oh  how  vexatious  ! "  said  Gwendolen,  colouring 
with  fresh  anger.  "  If  I  had  known,  I  could  have 
brought  home  the  money  I  had  won ;  and  for 
want  of  knowing,  I  stayed  and  lost  it.  I  had 
nearly  two  hundred  pounds,  and  it  would  have 
done  for  us  to  live  on  a  little  while,  till  I  could 
carry  out  some  plan."  She  paused  an  instant  and 
then  added  more  impetuously,  "Everything  has 
gone  against  me.  People  have  come  near  me  only 
to  blight  me." 

Among  the  "  people  "  she  was  including  Deron- 
da.  If  he  had  not  interfered  in  her  life  she  would 
have  gone  to  the  gaming-table  again  with  a  few 
napoleons,  and  might  have  won  back  her  losses. 

"  We  must  resign  ourselves  to  the  will  of  Pro- 
vidence, my  child,"  said  poor  Mrs  Davilow,  startled 
by  this  revelation  of  the  gambling,  but  not  daring 
to  say  more.  She  felt  sure  that  "people"  meant 
Grandcourt,  about  whom  her  lips  were  sealed. 
And  Gwendolen  answered  immediately — 

*'  But  I  don't  resign  myself.     I  shall  do  what  I 


can  against  it.  What  is  the  good  of  calling  people's 
wickedness  Providence  ?  You  said  in  your  letter 
it  was  Mr  Lassmann's  fault  we  had  lost  our  money. 
Has  he  run  away  with  it  all  ? " 

"  No,  dear,  you  don't  understand.  There  were 
great  speculations :  he  meant  to  gain.  It  was  all 
about  mines  and  things  of  that  sort.  He  risked 
too  much." 

"  I  don't  call  that  Providence :  it  was  his  im- 
providence with  our  money,  and  he  ought  to  be 
punished.  Can't  we  go  to  law  and  recover  our 
fortune  ?  My  uncle  ought  to  take  measures,  and  not 
sit  down  by  such  wrongs.    We  ought  to  go  to  law." 

"My  dear  child,  law  can  never  bring  back 
money  lost  in  that  way.  Your  uncle  says  it  is 
milk  spilt  upon  the  ground.  Besides,  one  must 
have  a  fortune  to  get  any  law :  there  is  no  law 
for  people  who  are  ruined.  And  our  money  has 
only  gone  along  with  other  people's.  We  are  not 
the  only  sufferers :  others  have  to  resign  them- 
selves besides  us." 

"  But  I  don't  resign  myself  to  live  at  Sawyer's 
Cottage  and  see  you  working  for  sixpences  and 
shillings  because  of  that.  I  shall  not  do  it.  I 
shall  do  what  is  more  befitting  our  rank  and 

"  I  am  sure  your  uncle  and  all  of  us  will  approve 


of  that,  dear,  and  admire  you  the  more  for  it," 
said  Mrs  Davilow,  glad  of  an  unexpected  opening 
for  speaking  on  a  difficult  subject.  "  I  didn't  mean 
that  you  should  resign  yourself  to  worse  when 
anjrthing  better  offered  itself.  Both  your  uncle  and 
aunt  have  felt  that  your  abilities  and  education 
were  a  fortune  for  you,  and  they  have  already 
heard  of  something  within  your  reach." 

"What  is  that,  mamma?"  Some  of  Gwen- 
dolen's anger  gave  way  to  interest,  and  she  was 
not  without  romantic  conjectures. 

"  There  are  two  situations  that  offer  themselves. 
One  is  in  a  bishop's  family,  where  there  are  three 
daughters,  and  the  other  is  in  quite  a  high  class 
of  school ;  and  in  both  your  French,  and  music, 
and  dancing — and  then  your  manners  and  habits 
as  a  lady,  are  exactly  what  is  wanted.  Each  is  a 
hundred  a-year — and — just  for  the  present " — Mrs 
Davilow  had  become  frightened  and  hesitating — 
"to  save  you  from  the  petty,  common  way  of 
living  that  we  must  go  to — you  would  perhaps 
accept  one  of  the  two." 

"  What !  be  like  Miss  Graves  at  Madame 
Meunier's  ?     No." 

"  I  think,  myself,  that  Dr  Mompert's  would  be 
more  suitable.  There  could  be  no  hardship  in  a 
bishop's  family." 


**  Excuse  me,  mamma.  There  are  hardships 
everywhere  for  a  governess.  And  I  don't  see 
that  it  would  be  pleasanter  to  be  looked  down 
on  in  a  bishop's  family  than  in  any  other. 
Besides,  you  know  very  well  I  hate  teaching. 
Fancy  me  shut  up  with  three  awkward  girls 
something  like  Alice  !  I  would  rather  emigrate 
than  be  a  governess." 

What  it  precisely  was  to  emigrate,  Gwendolen 
was  not  called  on  to  explain.  Mrs  Davilow  was 
mute,  seeing  no  outlet,  and  thinking  with  dread 
of  the  collision  that  might  happen  when  Gwen- 
dolen had  to  meet  her  uncle  and  aunt.  There 
was  an  air  of  reticence  in  Gwendolen's  haughty 
resistant  speeches,  which  implied  that  she  had 
a  definite  plan  in  reserve;  and  her  practical  ig- 
norance, continually  exhibited,  could  not  nullify 
the  mother's  belief  in  the  effectiveness  of  that 
forcible  will  and  daring  which  had  held  the 
mastery  over  herself. 

"  I  have  some  ornaments,  mamma,  and  I  could 
sell  them,"  said  Gwendolen.  "  They  would  make 
a  sum :  I  want  a  little  sum — just  to  go  on  with. 
I  dare  say  Marshall  at  Wancester  would  take 
them :  I  know  he  showed  me  some  bracelets  once 
that  he  said  he  had  bought  from  a  lady.  Jocosa 
might  go  and  ask  him.  Jocosa  is  going  to  leave 
us,  of  course.     But  she  might  do  that  first." 


"  She  would  do  anything  she  could,  poor  dear 
souL  I  have  not  told  you  yet — she  wanted  me  to 
take  all  her  savings — her  three  hundred  pounds. 
I  tell  her  to  set  up  a  little  school.  It  will  be 
hard  for  her  to  go  into  a  new  family  now  she  has 
been  so  long  with  us." 

"Oh,  recommend  her  for  the  bishop's  daughters/* 
said  Gwendolen,  with  a  sudden  gleam  of  laughter 
in  her  face.  "  I  am  sure  she  will  do  better  than  I 

"  Do  take  care  not  to  say  such  things  to  your 
uncle,"  said  Mrs  Davilow.  "  He  will  be  hurt  at 
your  despising  what  he  has  exerted  himself  about. 
But  I  daresay  you  have  something  else  in  your 
mind  that  he  might  not  disapprove,  if  you  con- 
sulted him." 

"  There  is  some  one  else  I  want  to  consult  first. 
Are  the  Arrowpoints  at  Quetcham  still,  and  is 
Herr  Klesmer  there?  But  I  daresay  you  know 
nothing  about  it,  poor  dear  mamma.  Can  Jeffries 
go  on  horseback  with  a  note  ? " 

"Oh,  my  dear,  Jeffries  is  not  here,  and  the 
dealer  has  taken  the  horses.  But  some  one  could 
go  for  us  from  Leek's  farm.  The  Arrowpoints  are 
at  Quetcham,  I  know.  Miss  Arrowpoint  left  her 
card  the  other  day  .  I  could  not  see  her.  But  I 
don't  know  about  Herr  Klesmer.  Do  you  want 
to  send  before  to-morrow  ? " 


"Yes,  as  soon  as  possible.  I  will  write  a 
note,"  said  Gwendolen,  rising. 

"What  can  you  be  thinking  of,  Gwen?"  said 
Mrs  Davilow,  relieved  in  the  midst  of  her  won- 
derment by  signs  of  alacrity  and  better  humour. 

"  Don't  mind  what,  there's  a  dear  good  mamma," 
said  Gwendolen,  reseating  herself  a  moment  to 
give  atoning  caresses.  "  I  mean  to  do  something. 
Never  mind  what,  until  it  is  all  settled.  And 
then  you  shall  be  comforted.  The  dear  face ! — 
it  is  ten  years  older  in  these  three  weeks.  Now, 
now,  now!  don't  cry" — Gwendolen,  holding  her 
mamma's  head  with  both  hands,  kissed  the  trem- 
bling eyelids.  "  But  mind  you  don't  contradict  me 
or  put  hindrances  in  my  way.  I  must  decide  for 
myself.  I  cannot  be  dictated  to  by  my  uncle  or 
any  one  else.  My  life  is  my  own  affair.  And  I 
think  " — here  her  tone  took  an  edge  of  scorn — "  I 
think  I  can  do  better  for  you  than  let  you  live  in 
Sawyer's  Cottage." 

In  uttering  this  last  sentence  Gwendolen  again 
rose,  and  went  to  a  desk  where  she  wrote  the  fol- 
lowing note  to  Klesmer  : — 

"Miss  Harleth  presents  her  compliments  to 
Herr  Klesmer  and  ventures  to  request  of  him 
the  very  great  favour  that  he  will  call  upon  her. 


if  possible  to-morrow.  Her  reason  for  presuming 
so  far  on  his  kindness  is  of  a  very  serious  nature. 
Unfortunate  family  circumstances  have  obliged 
her  to  take  a  course  in  which  she  can  only  turn 
for  advice  to  the  great  knowledge  and  judgment 
of  Herr  Klesmer." 

"Pray  get  this  sent  to  Quetcham  at  once, 
mamma,"  said  Gwendolen,  as  she  addressed  the 
letter.  "The  man  must  be  told  to  wait  for  an 
answer.     Let  no  time  be  lost." 

For  the  moment,  the  absorbing  purpose  was  to 
get  the  letter  despatched  ;  but  when  she  had  been 
assured  on  this  point,  another  anxiety  arose  and 
kept  her  in  a  state  of  uneasy  excitement.  If 
Klesmer  happened  not  to  be  at  Quetcham,  what 
could  she  do  next?  Gwendolen's  belief  in  her 
star,  so  to  speak,  had  had  some  bruises.  Things 
had  gone  against  her.  A  splendid  marriage  which 
presented  itself  within  reach  had  shown  a  hideous 
flaw.  The  chances  of  roulette  had  not  adjusted 
themselves  to  her  claims;  and  a  man  of  whom 
she  knew  nothing  had  thrust  himself  between  her 
and  her  intentions.  The  conduct  of  those  unin- 
teresting people  who  managed  the  business  of 
the  world  had  been  culpable  just  in  the  points 
most  injurious  to  her  in  particular.     Gwendolen 


Harleth,  with  all  her  beauty  and  conscious  force, 
felt  the  close  threats  of  humiliation  :  for  the  first 
time  the  conditions  of  this  world  seemed  to  her 
like  a  hurrying  roaring  crowd  in  which  she  had 
got  astray,  no  more  cared  for  and  protected  than 
a  myriad  of  other  girls,  in  spite  of  its  being  a 
peculiar  hardship  to  her.  If  Klesmer  were  not  at 
Quetcham — that  would  be  all  of  a  piece  with  the 
rest:  the  unwelcome  negative  urged  itself  as  a 
probability,  and  set  her  brain  working  at  des- 
perate alternatives  which  might  deKver  her  from 
Sawyer's  Cottage  or  the  ultimate  necessity  of  "  tak- 
ing a  situation,"  a  phrase  that  summed  up  for  her 
the  disagreeables  most  wounding  to  her  pride, 
most  irksome"  to  her  tastes  ;  at  least  so  far  as  her 
experience  enabled  her  to  imagine  disagreeables. 

Still  Klesmer  might  be  there,  and  Gwendolen 
thought  of  the  result  in  that  case  with  a  hopeful- 
ness which  even  cast  a  satisfactory  light  over  her 
peculiar  troubles,  as  what  might  well  enter  into  the 
biography  of  celebrities  and  remarkable  persons. 
And  if  she  had  heard  her  immediate  acquain- 
tances cross-examined  as  to  whether  they  thought 
her  remarkable,  the  first  who  said  "  No  "  would 
have  surprised  her. 



We  please  our  fency  with  ideal  webs 
Of  innovation,  but  our  life  meanwhile 
Is  in  the  loom,  where  busy  passion  plies 
The  shuttle  to  and  fro,  and  gives  our  deeds 
The  accustomed  pattern. 

Gwendolen's  note,  coming  "  pat  betwixt  too  early 
and  too  late,"  was  put  into  Klesmer's  hands  just 
when  he  was  leaving  Quetcham,  and  in  order  to 
meet  her  appeal  to  his  kindness  he  with  some  in- 
convenience to  himself  spent  the  night  at  Wan- 
cester.  There  were  reasons  why  he  would  not 
remain  at  Quetcham. 

That  magnificent  mansion,  fitted  with  regard  to 
the  greatest  expense,  had  in  fact  become  too  hot 
for  him,  its  owners  having,  like  some  great  poli- 
ticians, been  astonished  at  an  insurrection  against 
the  established  order  of  things,  which  we  plain 
people  after  the  event  can  perceive  to  have  been 
prepared  under  their  very  noses. 

There  were  as  usual  many  guests  in  the  house, 


and  among  them  one  in  whom  Miss  Arrowpoint 
foresaw  a  new  pretender  to  her  hand  :  a  political 
man  of  good  family  who  confidently  expected  a 
peerage,  and  felt  on  public  grounds  that  he  re- 
quired a  larger  fortune  to  support  the  title  pro- 
perly. Heiresses  vary,  and  persons  interested  in 
one  of  them  beforehand  are  prepared  to  find  that 
she  is  too  yellow  or  too  red,  tall  and  toppling  or 
short  and  square,  violent  and  capricious  or  moony 
and  insipid;  but  in  every  case  it  is  taken  for 
granted  that  she  will  consider  herself  an  append- 
age to  her  fortune,  and  marry  where  others  think 
her  fortune  ought  to  go.  Nature,  however,  not 
only  accommodates  herself  ill  to  our  favourite 
practices  by  making  "only  children"  daughters,  but 
also  now  and  then  endows  the  misplaced  daughter 
with  a  clear  head  and  a  strong  will.  The  Arrow- 
points  had  already  felt  some  anxiety  owing  to 
these  endowments  of  their  Catherine.  She  would 
not  accept  the  view  of  her  social  duty  which  re- 
quired her  to  marry  a  needy  nobleman  or  a  com- 
moner on  the  ladder  towards  nobility ;  and  they 
were  not  without  uneasiness  concerning  her  per- 
sistence in  declining  suitable  off'ers.  As  to  the 
possibility  of  her  being  in  love  with  Klesmer  they 
were  not  at  all  uneasy — a  very  common  sort  of 
blindness.     For  in  general  mortals  have  a  great 


power  of  being  astonished  at  the  presence  of  an 
effect  towards  which  they  have  done  everything, 
and  at  the  absence  of  an  effect  towards  which 
they  have  done  nothing  but  desire  it.  Parents 
are  astonished  at  the  ignorance  of  their  sons, 
though  they  have  used  the  most  time-honoured 
and  expensive  means  of  securing  it;  husbands 
and  wives  are  mutually  astonished  at  the  loss  of 
affection  which  they  have  taken  no  pains  to  keep ; 
and  all  of  us  in  our  turn  are  apt  to  be  astonished 
that  our  neighbours  do  not  admire  us.  In  this 
way  it  happens  that  the  truth  seems  highly  im- 
probable. The  truth  is  something  different  from 
the  habitual  lazy  combinations  begotten  by  our 
wishes.  The  Arrowpoints'  hour  of  astonishment 
was  come. 

When  there  is  a  passion  between  an  heiress 
and  a  proud  independent-spirited  man,  it  is  diffi- 
cult for  them  to  come  to  an  understanding ;  but 
the  difficulties  are  likely  to  be  overcome  unless 
the  proud  man  secures  himself  by  a  constant 
alibi.  Brief  meetings  after  studied  absence  are 
potent  in  disclosure :  but  more  potent  still  is  fre- 
quent companionship,  with  full  sympathy  in  taste, 
and  admirable  qualities  on  both  sides ;  especially 
where  the  one  is  in  the  position  of  teacher  and 
the  other  is   delightedly  conscious   of  receptive 

VOL.  II.  E 


ability  which  also  gives  the  teacher  delight.  The 
situation  is  famous  in  history,  and  has  no  less 
charm  now  than  it  had  in  the  days  of  Abelard. 

But  this  kind  of  comparison  had  not  occurred 
to  the  Arrowpoints  when  they  first  engaged  Kles- 
mer  to  come  down  to  Quetcham.  To  have  a  first- 
rate  musician  in  your  house  is  a  privilege  of 
wealth ;  Catherine's  musical  talent  demanded 
every  advantage  ;  and  she  particularly  desired  to 
use  her  quieter  time  in  the  country  for  more  thor- 
ough study.  Klesmer  was  not  yet  a  Liszt,  under- 
stood to  be  adored  by  ladies  of  all  European 
countries  with  the  exception  of  Lapland  :  and 
even  with  that  understanding  it  did  not  follow 
that  he  would  make  proposals  to  an  heiress.  No 
musician  of  honour  would  do  so.  Still  less  was 
it  conceivable  that  Catherine  would  give  him  the 
slightest  pretext  for  such  daring.  The  large 
cheque  that  Mr  Arrowpoint  was  to  draw  in 
Klesmer's  name  seemed  to  make  him  as  safe  an 
inmate  as  a  footman.  Where  marriage  is  incon- 
ceivable, a  girl's  sentiments  are  safe. 

Klesmer  was  eminently  a  man  of  honour,  but 
marriages  rarely  begin  with  formal  proposals,  and 
moreover,  Catherine's  limit  of  the  conceivable  did 
not  exactly  correspond  with  her  mother's. 

Outsiders  might  have  been  more  apt  to  think 


that  Klesmer's  position  was  dangerous  for  himself 
if  Miss  Arrowpoint  had  been  an  acknowledged 
beauty;  not  taking  into  account  that  the  most  . 
powerful  of  all  beauty  is  that  which  reveals  itself  \ 
after  sympathy  and  not  before  it.     There  is   a  V 
charm  of  eye  and  lip  which  comes  with  every    ^ 
little  phrase  that  certifies  delicate  perception  or    / 
fine  judgment,  with  every  unostentatious  word  or   r 
smile  that  shows  a  heart  awake  to  others ;  and  no 
sweep  of  garment  or  turn  of  figure  is  more  satis- 
fying than  that  which  enters  as  a  restoration  of 
confidence  that  one  person  is  present  on  whom  no    \ 
intention  will  be  lost.    What  dignity  of  meaning 
goes  on  gathering  in  frowns  and  laughs  which  are 
never  observed  in  the  wrong  place ;  what  suf- 
fused adorableness  in  a  human  frame  where  there 
is  a  mind  that  can  flash  out  comprehension  and 
hands  that  can  execute  finely !   The  more  obvious 
beauty,  also  adorable  sometimes — one  may  say  it 
without  blasphemy — begins  by  being  an  apology 
for  folly,  and  ends  like  other  apologies  in  becoming 
tiresome  by  iteration ;  and  that  Klesmer,  though 
very  susceptible  to  it,  should  have  a  passionate  at-  1 
tachment  to  Miss  Arrowpoint,  was  no  more  a  para- 
dox than  any  other  triumph  of  a  manifold  sympathy 
over  a  monotonous  attraction.   We  object  less  to 
be  taxed  with  the  enslaving  excess  of  our  passions 


than  with  our  deficiency  in  wider  passion  ;  but  if 
the  truth  were  known,  our  reputed  intensity  is 
often  the  dulness  of  not  knowing  what  else  to  do 
with  ourselves.  Tannhauser,  one  suspects,  was  a 
knight  of  ill-furnished  imagination,  hardly  of  larger 
discourse  than  a  heavy  Guardsman ;  Merlin  had 
certainly  seen  his  best  days,  and  was  merely  re- 
peating himself,  when  he  fell  into  that  hopeless 
captivity ;  and  we  know  that  Ulysses  felt  so  mani- 
fest an  ennui  under  similar  circumstances  that 
Calypso  herself  furthered  his  departure.  There  is 
indeed  a  report  that  he  afterwards  left  Penelope ; 
but  since  she  was  habitually  absorbed  in  worsted 
work,  and  it  was  probably  from  her  that  Tele- 
machus  got  his  mean,  pettifogging  disposition, 
always  anxious  about  the  property  and  the  daily 
consumption  of  meat,  no  inference  can  be  drawn 
from  this  already  dubious  scandal  as  to  the  rela- 
tion between  companionship  and  constancy. 

Klesmer  was  as  versatile  and  fascinating  as  a 
young  Ulysses  on  a  sufficient  acquaintance — one 
whom  nature  seemed  to  have  first  made  generously 
and  then  to  have  added  music  as  a  dominant 
power  using  all  the  abundant  rest,  and,  as  in 
Mendelssohn,  finding  expression  for  itself  'not 
only  in  the  highest  finish  of  execution,  but  in 
that  fervour  of  creative  work  and  theoretic  belief 


which  pierces  the  whole  future  of  a  life  with  the 
light  of  congruous,  devoted  purpose.  His  foibles 
of  arrogance  and  vanity  did  not  exceed  such  as 
may  be  found  in  the  best  English  families ;  and 
Catherine  Arrowpoint  had  no  corresponding  rest- 
lessness to  clash  with  his:  notwithstanding  her 
native  kindliness  she  was  perhaps  too  coolly  firm 
and  self-sustained.  But  she  was  one  of  those 
satisfactory  creatures  whose  intercourse  has  the 
charm  of  discovery ;  whose  integrity  of  faculty 
and  expression  begets  a  wish  to  know  what  they 
will  say  on  all  subjects,  or  how  they  will  perform 
whatever  they  undertake ;  so  that  they  end  by 
raising  not  only  a  continual  expectation  but  a  con- 
tinual sense  of  fulfilment — the  systole  and  diastole 
of  blissful  companionship.  In  such  cases  the 
outward  presentment  easily  becomes  what  the 
image  is  to  the  worshipper.  It  was  not  long  be- 
fore the  two  became  aware  that  each  was  interest- 
ing to  the  other ;  but  the  '  how  far '  remained  a 
matter  of  doubt.  Klesmer  did  not  conceive  that 
Miss  Arrowpoint  was  likely  to  think  of  him  as  a 
possible  lover,  and  she  was  not  accustomed  to 
think  of  herself  as  likely  to  stir  more  than  a 
friendly  regard,  or  to  fear  the  expression  of  more 
from  any  man  who  was  not  enamoured  of  her 
fortune.     Each  was  content  to  suffer  some  un- 


shared  sense  of  denial  for  the  sake  of  loving  the 
other's  society  a  little  too  well ;  and  under  these 
conditions  no  need  had  been  felt  to  restrict 
Klesmer's  visits  for  the  last  year  either  in  country 
or  in  town.  He  knew  very  well  that  if  Miss 
Arrowpoint  had  been  poor  he  would  have  made 
ardent  love  to  her  instead  of  sending  a  storm 
through  the  piano,  or  folding  his  arms  and  pour- 
ing out  a  hyperbolical  tirade  about  something  as 
impersonal  as  the  north  pole ;  and  she  was  not 
less  aware  that  if  it  had  been  possible  for  Klesmer 
to  wish  for  her  hand  she  would  have  found  over- 
mastering reasons  for  giving  it  to  him.  Here  was 
the  safety  of  full  cups,  which  are  as  secure  from 
overflow  as  the  half-empty,  always  supposing  no 
disturbance.  Naturally,  silent  feeling  had  not 
remained  at  the  same  point  any  more  than  the 
stealthy  dial-hand,  and  in  the  present  visit  to 
Quetcham,  Klesmer  had  begun  to  think  that  he 
would  not  come  again ;  while  Catherine  was  more 
sensitive  to  his  frequent  hrusqueriej  which  she 
rather  resented  as  a  needless  effort  to  assert  his 
footing  of  superior  in  every  sense  except  the  con- 

Meanwhile  enters  the  expectant  peer,  Mr  Bult, 
an  esteemed  party  man  who,  rather  neutral  in 
private  life,  had  strong  opinions  concerning  the 


districts  of  the  Niger,  was  much  at  home  also  in  the 
Brazils,  spoke  with  decision  of  affairs  in  the  South 
Seas,  was  studious  of  his  parliamentary  and  itin- 
erant speeches,  and  had  the  general  solidity  and 
suffusive  pinkness  of  a  healthy  Briton  on  the 
central  table-land  of  life.  Catherine,  aware  of  a 
tacit  understanding  that  he  was  an  undeniable 
husband  for  an  heiress,  had  nothing  to  say  against 
him  but  that  he  was  thoroughly  tiresome  to  her. 
Mr  Bult  was  amiably  confident,  and  had  no  idea 
that  his  insensibility  to  counterpoint  could  ever 
be  reckoned  against  him.  Klesmer  he  hardly 
regarded  in  the  light  of  a  serious  human  being 
who  ought  to  have  a  vote  ;  and  he  did  not  mind 
Miss  Arrowpoint's  addiction  to  music  any  more 
than  her  probable  expenses  in  antique  lace.  He 
was  consequently  a  little  amazed  at  an  after- 
dinner  outburst  of  Klesmer's  on  the  lack  of  ideal- 
ism in  English  politics,  which  left  all  mutuality 
between  distant  races  to  be  determined  simply  by 
the  need  of  a  market :  the  crusades,  to  his  mind, 
had  at  least  this  excuse,  that  they  had  a  banner  of 
sentiment  round  which  generous  feelings  could 
rally :  of  course,  the  scoundrels  rallied  too,  but 
what  then  ?  they  rally  in  equal  force  round  your 
advertisement  van  of  "Buy  cheap,  sell  dear." 
On  this  theme  Klesmer's  eloquence,  gesticulatory 


and  other,  went  on  for  a  little  while  like  stray 
fireworks  accidentally  ignited,  and  then  sank  into 
immovable  silence.  Mr  Bult  was  not  surprised 
that  Klesmer's  opinions  should  be  flighty,  but  was 
astonished  at  his  command  of  English  idiom  and 
his  ability  to  put  a  point  in  a  way  that  would 
have  told  at  a  constituents'  dinner — to  be  ac- 
counted for  probably  by  his  being  a  Pole,  or  a 
Czech,  or  something  of  that  fermenting  sort,  in  a 
state  of  political  refugeeism  which  had  obliged 
him  to  make  a  profession  of  his  music  ;  and  that 
evening  in  the  drawing-room  he  for  the  first  time 
went  up  to  Klesmer  at  the  piano.  Miss  Arrow- 
;point  being  near,  and  said — 

"  I  had  no  idea  before  that  you  were  a  political 

Klesmer's  only  answer  was  to  fold  his  arms, 
put  out  his  nether  lip,  and  stare  at  Mr  Bult. 

"  You  must  have  been  used  to  public  speaking. 
You  speak  uncommonly  well,  though  I  don't 
agree  with  you.  From  what  you  said  about  sen- 
timent, I  fancy  you  are  a  Panslavist." 

"No;  my  name  is  Elijah.  I  am  the  Wander- 
ing Jew,"  said  Klesmer,  flashing  a  smile  at  Miss 
Arrowpoint,  and  suddenly  making  a  mysterious 
wind-like  rush  backwards  and  forwards  on  the 
piano.     Mr  Bult  felt  this   buffoonery  rather  of- 


fensive  and  Polish,  but— Miss  Arrowpoint  being 
there — did  not  like  to  move  away. 

"Herr  Klesmer  has  cosmopolitan  ideas,"  said 
Miss  Arrowpoint,  trying  to  make  the  best  of 
the  situation.  "He  looks  forward  to  a  fusion 
of  races." 

"  With  all  my  heart,"  said  Mr  Bult,  willing  to 
be  gracious.  "  I  was  sure  he  had  too  much  talent 
to  be  a  mere  musician." 

"  Ah,  sir,  you  are  under  some  mistake  there," 
said  Klesmer,  firing  up.  "  No  man  has  too  much 
talent  to  be  a  musician.  Most  men  have  too 
little.  A  creative  artist  is  no  more  a  mere  musi- 
cian than  a  great  statesman  is  a  mere  politician. 
We  are  not  ingenious  puppets,  sir,  who  live  in  a 
box  and  look  out  on  the  world  only  when  it  is 
gaping  for  amusement.  We  help  to  rule  the  na- 
tions and  make  the  age  as  much  as  any  other  pub- 
lic men.  We  count  ourselves  on  level  benches 
with  legislators.  And  a  man  who  speaks  effec- 
tively through  music  is  compelled  to  something 
more  difficult  than  parliamentary  eloquence." 

With  the  last  word  Klesmer  wheeled  from  the 
piano  and  walked  away. 

Miss  Arrowpoint  coloured,  and  Mr  Bult  ob- 
served with  his  usual  phlegmatic  solidity,  "  Your 
pianist  does  not  think  small  beer  of  himself." 


"Herr  Klesmer  is  something  more  than  a 
pianist,"  said  Miss  Arrowpoint,  apologetically. 
"He  is  a  great  musician  in  the  fullest  sense  of 
the  .word.  He  will  rank  with  Schubert  and 

"  Ah,  you  ladies  understand  these  things,"  said 
Mr  Bult,  none  the  less  convinced  that  these  things 
were  frivolous  because  Klesmer  had  shown  him- 
self a  coxcomb. 

Catherine,  always  sorry  when  Klesmer  gave 
himself  airs,  found  an  opportunity  the  next  day 
in  the  music -room  to  say,  "Why  were  you  so 
heated  last  night  with  Mr  Bult  ?  He  meant  no 

"  You  wish  me  to  be  complaisant  to  him  ? "  said 
Klesmer,  rather  fiercely. 

"  I  think  it  is  hardly  worth  your  while  to  be 
other  than  civil." 

"  You  find  no  difficulty  in  tolerating  him,  then  ? 
— you  have  a  respect  for  a  political  platitudinarian 
as  insensible  as  an  ox  to  everything  he  can't  turn 
into  political  capital.  You  think  his  monumental 
obtuseness  suited  to  the  dignity  of  the  English 

"  I  did  not  say  that." 

"  You  mean  that  I  acted  without  dignity  and 
you  are  offended  with  me." 


"  Now  you  are  slightly  nearer  the  truth,"  said 
Catherine,  smiling. 

"Then  I  had  better  put  my  burial-clothes  in 
my  portmanteau  and  set  off  at  once." 

"  I  don't  see  that.  If  I  have  to  bear  your 
criticism  of  my  operetta,  you  should  not  mind 
my  criticism  of  your  impatience." 

"  But  I  do  mind  it.  You  would  have  wished 
me  to  take  his  ignorant  impertinence  about  a 
'mere  musician'  without  letting  him  know  his 
place.  I  am  to  hear  my  gods  blasphemed  as  well 
as  myself  insulted.  But  I  beg  pardon.  It  is 
impossible  you  should  see  the  matter  as  I  do. 
Even  you  can't  understand  the  wrath  of  the  artist : 
he  is  of  another  caste  for  you." 

"That  is  true,"  said  Catherine,  with  some 
betrayal  of  feeling.  "  He  is  of  a  caste  to  which  I 
look  up — a  caste  above  mine." 

Klesmer,  who  had  been  seated  at  a  table  look- 
ing over  scores,  started  up  and  walked  to  a  little 
distance,  from  which  he  said — 

'*  That  is  finely  felt — I  am  grateful.  But  I  had 
better  go,  all  the  same.  I  have  made  up  my 
mind  to  go,  for  good  and  aU.  You  can  get  on 
exceedingly  well  without  me :  your  operetta  is  on 
wheels — it  will  go  of  itself.  And  your  Mr  Bult's 
company  fits  me  '  wie  die  Faust  ins  Auge«'     I  am 


neglecting  my  engagements.  I  must  go  off  to  St 

There  was  no  answer. 

"  You  agree  with  me  that  I  had  better  go  V  said 
Klesmer,  with  some  irritation. 

"Certainly;  if  that  is  what  your  business  and 
feeling  prompt.  I  have  only  to  wonder  that  you 
have  consented  to  give  us  so  much  of  your  time 
in  the  last  year.  There  must  be  treble  the  interest 
to  you  anywhere  else.  I  have  never  thought  of 
your  consenting  to  come  here  as  anything  else 
than  a  sacrifice." 

"  Why  should  I  make  the  sacrifice  ?"  said  Kles- 
mer, going  to  seat  himself  at  the  piano,  and  touch- 
ing the  keys  so  as  to  give  with  the  delicacy  of  an 
echo  in  the  far  distance  a  melody  which  he  had 
set  to  Heine's  "  Ich  hab'  dich  geliebet  und  liebe 
dich  noch." 

"That  is  the  mystery,"  said  Catherine,  not 
wanting  to  affect  anything,  but  from  mere  agita- 
tion. From  the  same  cause  she  was  tearing  a 
piece  of  paper  into  minute  morsels,  as  if  at  a  task 
of  utmost  multiplication  imposed  by  a  cruel  fairy. 

"  You  can  conceive  no  motive  ? "  said  Klesmer, 
folding  his  arms. 

"  None  that  seems  in  the  least  probable." 

*'  Then  I  shall  tell  you.     It  is  because  you  are 

BOOK  m.— -MAroENS  CHOOSING.  77 

to  me  the  chief  woman  in  the  world — the  throned 
lady  whose  colours  I  carry  between  my  heart  and 
my  armour." 

Catherine's  hands  trembled  so  much  that  she 
could  no  longer  tear  the  paper  :  still  less  could 
her  lips  utter  a  word.     Klesmer  went  on — 

"  This  would  be  the  last  impertinence  in  me,  if 
I  meant  to  found  anything  upon  it.  That  is  out 
of  the  question.  I  mean  no  such  thing.  But  you 
once  said  it  was  your  doom  to  suspect  every  man 
who  courted  you  of  being  an  adventurer,  and 
what  made  you  angriest  was  men's  imputing  to 
you  the  folly  of  believing  that  they  courted  you 
for  your  own  sake.     Did  you  not  say  so  ? " 

"  Very  likely,"  was  the  answer,  in  a  low  murmur. 

"  It  was  a  bitter  word.  Well,  at  least  one  man 
who  has  seen  women  as  plenty  as  flowers  in  May 
has  lingered  about  you  for  your  own  sake.  And 
since  he  is  one  whom  you  can  never  marry,  you 
will  believe  him.  That  is  an  argument  in  favour 
of  some  other  man.  But  don't  give  yourself  for 
a  meal  to  a  minotaur  like  Bult.  I  shall  go  now 
and  pack.  I  shall  make  my  excuses  to  Mrs 
Arrowpoint."  Klesmer  rose  as  he  ended,  and 
walked  quickly  towards  the  door. 

"  You  must  take  this  heap  of  manuscript,  then," 
said   Catherine,    suddenly   making    a    desperate 


effort.  She  had  risen  to  fetch  the  heap  from 
another  table.  Klesmer  came  back,  and  they  had 
the  length  of  the  folio  sheets  between  them. 

a  Why  should  I  not  marry  the  man  who  loves 
me,  if  I  love  him  ? "  said  Catherine.  To  her  the 
effort  was  something  like  the  leap  of  a  woman 
from  the  deck  into  the  lifeboat. 

"  It  would  be  too  hard — impossible — you  could 
not  carry  it  through.  I  am  not  worth  what  you 
would  have  to  encounter.  I  will  not  accept  the 
sacrifice.  It  would  be  thought  a  mesalliance  for 
you,  and  I  should  be  liable  to  the  worst  accu- 

"  Is  it  the  accusations  you  are  afraid  of?  I  am 
afraid  of  nothing  but  that  we  should  miss  the 
passing  of  our  lives  together." 

The  decisive  word  had  been  spoken :  there  was 
no  doubt  concerning  the  end  willed  by  each : 
there  only  remained  the  way  of  arriving  at  it,  and 
Catherine  determined  to  take  the  straightest  pos- 
sible. She  went  to  her  father  and  mother  in  the 
library,  and  told  them  that  she  had  promised  to 
marry  Klesmer. 

Mrs  Arrowpoint's  state  of  mind  was  pitiable. 
Imagine  Jean  Jacques,  after  his  essay  on  the  cor- 
rupting influence  of  the  arts,  waking  up  among 
children  of  nature  who  had  no  idea  of  grilling  the 


raw  bone  they  offered  him  for  breakfast  with  the 
primitive  convert  of  a  flint ;  or  Saint  Just,  after 
fervidly  denouncing  all  recognition  of  pre-emi- 
nence, receiving  a  vote  of  thanks  for  the  unbroken 
mediocrity  of  his  speech,  which  warranted  the 
dullest  patriots  in  delivering  themselves  at  equal 
length.  Something  of  the  same  sort  befell  the 
authoress  of  'Tasso,*  when  what  she  had  safely 
demanded  of  the  dead  Leonora  was  enacted  by 
her  own  Catherine.  It  is  hard  for  us  to  live  up 
to  our  own  eloquence,  and  keep  pace  with  our 
winged  words,  while  we  are  treading  the  solid 
earth  and  are  liable  to  heavy  dining.  Besides,  it 
has  long  been  understood  that  the  proprieties  of 
literature  are  not  those  of  practical  life.  Mrs 
Arrowpoint  naturally  wished  for  the  best  of  every- 
thing. She  not  only  liked  to  feel  herself  at  a 
higher  level  of  literary  sentiment  than  the  ladies 
with  whom  she  associated ;  she  wished  not  to  be 
below  them  in  any  point  of  social  consideration. 
While  Klesmer  was  seen  in  the  light  of  a  patron- 
ised musician,  his  peculiarities  were  picturesque 
and  acceptable ;  but  to  see  him  by  a  sudden  flash 
in  the  light  of  her  son-in-law  gave  her  a  burning 
sense  of  what  the  world  would  say.  And  the  poor 
lady  had  been  used  to  represent  her  Catherine  as 
a  model  of  excellence. 


Under  the  first  shock  she  forgot  everything  but 
her  anger,  and  snatched  at  any  phrase  that  would 
serve  as  a  weapon. 

"  If  Klesmer  has  presumed  to  offer  himself  to 
you,  your  father  shall  horsewhip  him  off  the 
premises.     Pray,  speak,  Mr  Arrowpoint." 

The  father  took  his  cigar  from  his  mouth,  and 
rose  to  the  occasion  by  saying,  "  This  will  never 
do,  Cath." 

"  Do  ! "  cried  Mrs  Arrowpoint ;  "  who  in  their 
senses  ever  thought  it  would  do  ?  You  might  as 
well  say  poisoning  and  strangling  will  not  do.  It 
is  a  comedy  you  have  got  up,  Catherine.  Else 
you  are  mad." 

"I  am  quite  sane  and  serious,  mamma,  and 
Herr  Klesmer  is  not  to  blame.  He  never  thought 
of  my  marrying  him.  I  found  out  that  he  loved 
me,  and  loving  him,  I  told  him  I  would  marry 

"  Leave  that  unsaid,  Catherine,"  said  Mrs  Arrow- 
point,  bitterly.  "  Every  one  else  will  say  it  for 
you.  You  will  be  a  public  fable.  Every  one  will 
say  that  you  must  have  made  the  offer  to  a  man 
who  has  been  paid  to  come  to  the  house — who  is 
nobody  knows  what — a  gypsy,  a  Jew,  a  mere 
bubble  of  the  earth." 

"  Never  mind,  mamma,"  said  Catherine,  indig- 


nant  in  her  turn.  "  We  all  know  he  is  a  genius 
— as  Tasso  was." 

"  Those  times  were  not  these,  nor  is  Klesmer 
Tasso,"  said  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  getting  more  heated. 
"There  is  no  sting  in  that  sarcasm,  except  the 
sting  of  undutifulness." 

"  I  am  sorry  to  hurt  you,  mamma.  But  I  will 
not  give  up  the  happiness  of  my  life  to  ideas  that 
I  don't  believe  in  and  customs  I  have  no  respect 

"  You  have  lost  all  sense  of  duty,  then  ?  You 
have  forgotten  that  you  are  our  only  child — that 
it  lies  with  you  to  place  a  great  property  in  the 
right  hands  ? " 

"  What  are  the  right  hands  ?  My  grandfather 
gained  the  property  in  trade." 

"  Mr  Arrowpoint,  will  you  sit  by  and  hear  this 
without  speaking  ? " 

"  I  am  a  gentleman,  Cath.  We  expect  you  to 
marry  a  gentleman,"  said  the  father,  exerting 

"And  a  man  connected  with  the  institutions  of 
this  country,"  said  the  mother.  "A  woman  in 
your  position  has  serious  duties.  Where  duty  and 
inclination  clash,  she  must  follow  duty." 

"  I  don't  deny  that,"  said  Catherine,  getting 
colder  in  proportion  to  her  mother's  heat.     "  But 

VOL.  II.  F 


one  may  say  very  true  things  and  apply  them 
falsely.  People  can  easily  take  the  sacred  word 
duty  as  a  name  for  what  they  desire  any  one  else 
to  do." 

"  Your  parent's  desire  makes  no  duty  for  you, 

"  Yes,  within  reason.  But  before  I  give  up  the 
happiness  of  my  life " 

"  Catherine,  Catherine,  it  will  not  be  your  hap- 
piness/' said  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  in  her  most  raven- 
like tones. 

"  Well,  what  seems  to  me  my  happiness — ^before 
I  give  it  up,  I  must  see  some  better  reason  than 
the  wish  that  I  should  marry  a  nobleman,  or  a 
man  who  votes  with  a  party  that  he  may  be 
turned  into  a  nobleman.  I  feel  at  liberty  to  marry 
the  man  I  love  and  think  worthy,  unless  some 
higher  duty  forbids." 

"  And  so  it  does,  Catherine,  though  you  are 
blinded  and  cannot  see  it.  It  is  a  woman's  duty 
not  to  lower  herself  You  are  lowering  yourself 
Mr  Arrowpoint,  will  you  tell  your  daughter  what 
is  her  duty?" 

"  You  must  see,  Catherine,  that  Klesmer  is  not 
the  man  for  you,"  said  Mr  Arrowpoint.  "  He 
won't  do  at  the  head  of  estates.  He  has  a  deuced 
foreign  look — is  an  unpractical  maa" 


"  I  really  can't  see  what  that  has  to  do  with  it, 
papa.  The  land  of  England  has  often  passed  into 
the  hands  of  foreigners — Dutch  soldiers,  sons  of 
foreign  women  of  bad  character: — if  our  land  were 
sold  to-morrow  it  would  very  likely  pass  into  the 
hands  of  some  foreign  merchant  on  'Change.  It 
is  in  everybody's  mouth  that  successful  swindlers 
may  buy  up  half  the  land  in  the  country.  How 
can  I  stem  that  tide  ? " 

"It  will  never  do  to  argue  about  marriage, 
Cath,"  said  Mr  Arrowpoint.  "  It's  no  use  getting 
up  the  subject  like  a  parliamentary  question.  We 
must  do  as  other  people  do.  We  must  think  of 
the  nation  and  the  public  good." 

"I  can't  see  any  public  good  concerned  here, 
papa,"  said  Catherine.  "  Why  is  it  to  be  expected 
of  an  heiress  that  she  should  carry  the  property 
gained  in  trade  into  the  hands  of  a  certain  class  ? 
That  seems  to  me  a  ridiculous  mish-mash  of 
superannuated  customs  and  false  ambition.  I 
should  call  it  a  public  evil  People  had  better 
make  a  new  sort  of  public  good  by  changing  their 

"  That  is  mere  sophistry,  Catherine,"  said  Mrs 
Arrowpoint.  "  Because  you  don't  wish  to  marry 
a  nobleman,  you  are  not  obliged  to  marry  a  mount- 
ebank or  a  charlatan." 


"  I  cannot  understand  the  application  of  such 
words,  mamma." 

"  No,  I  daresay  not,"  rejoined  Mrs  Arrowpoint, 
with  significant  scorn.  "  You  have  got  to  a  pitch 
at  which  we  are  not  likely  to  understand  each 

"  It  can't  be  done,  Cath,"  said  Mr  Arrowpoint, 
wishing  to  substitute  a  better-humoured  reasoning 
for  his  wife's  impetuosity.  "  A  man  like  Klesmer 
can't  marry  such  a  property  as  yours.  It  can't 
be  done." 

"It  certainly  will  not  be  done,"  said  Mrs 
Arrowpoint,  imperiously.  "Where  is  the  man? 
Let  him  be  fetched." 

"  I  cannot  fetch  him  to  be  insulted,"  said 
Catherine.     "  Nothing  will  be  achieved  by  that." 

"  I  suppose  you  would  wish  him  to  know  that 
in  marrying  you  he  will  not  marry  your  fortune," 
said  Mrs  Arrowpoint. 

"'Certainly;  if  it  were  so,  I  should  wish  him 
to  know  it." 

"  Then  you  had  better  fetch  him." 

Catherine  only  went  into  the  music-room  and 
said,  "  Come : "  she  felt  no  need  to  prepare 

"  Herr  Klesmer,"  said  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  with  a 
rather  contemptuous  stateliness,  "  it  is  unnecessary 


to  repeat  what  has  passed  between  us  and  our 
daughter.  Mr  Arrowpoint  will  tell  you  our 

"  Your  marrying  is  quite  out  of  the  question/' 
said  Mr  Arrowpoint,  rather  too  heavily  weighted 
with  his  task,  and  standing  in  an  embarrassment 
unrelieved  by  a  cigar.  "  It  is  a  wild  scheme  al- 
together.   A  man  has  been  called  out  for  less." 

"  You  have  taken  a  base  advantage  of  our  con- 
fidence," burst  in  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  unable  to  carry 
out  her  purpose  and  leave  the  burthen  of  speech 
to  her  husband. 

Klesmer  made  a  low  bow  in  silent  irony. 

"  The  pretension  is  ridiculous.  You  had  better 
give  it  up  and  leave  the  house  at  once,"  continued 
Mr  Arrowpoint.  He  wished  to  do  without  men- 
tioning the  money. 

"I  can  give  up  nothing  without  reference  to 
your  daughter's  wish,"  said  Klesmer.  "My  en- 
gagement is  to  her." 

"  It  is  useless  to  discuss  the  question,"  said  Mrs 
Arrowpoint.  "We  shall  never  consent  to  the 
marriage.  If  Catherine  disobeys  us  we  shaU  dis- 
inherit her.  You  will  not  marry  her  fortune.  It 
is  right  you  should  know  that." 

"  Madam,  her  fortune  has  been  the  only  thing 
I  have  had  to  regret  about  her.     But  I  must  ask 


her  if  she  will  not  think  the  sacrifice  greater  than 
I  am  worthy  of." 

"  It  is  no  sacrifice  to  me,"  said  Catherine,  "  ex- 
cept that  I  am  sorry  to  hurt  my  father  and  mother. 
I  have  always  felt  my  fortune  to  be  a  wretched 
fatality  of  my  life." 

"  You  mean  to  defy  us,  then  ? "  said  Mrs  Arrow- 

"  I  mean  to  marry  Herr  Klesmer,"  said  Catherine, 

"He  had  better  not  count  on  our  relenting," 
said  Mrs  Arrowpoint,  whose  manners  suffered 
from  that  impunity  in  insult  which  has  been 
reckoned  among  the  privileges  of  women. 

"  Madam,"  said  Klesmer,  "  certain  reasons  for- 
bid me  to  retort.  But  understand  that  I  consider 
it  out  of  the  power  either  of  you  or  of  your  for- 
tune to  confer  on  me  anything  that  I  value.  My 
rank  as  an  artist  is  of  my  own  winning,  and  I 
would  not  exchange  it  for  any  other.  I  am  able 
to  maintain  your  daughter,  and  I  ask  for  no  change 
in  my  life  but  her  companionship." 

"  You  will  leave  the  house,  however,"  said  Mrs 

"  I  go  at  once,"  said  Klesmer,  bowing  and  quit- 
ting the  room. 

"  Let  there  be  no  misunderstanding,  mamma," 


said  Catherine ;  "  I  consider  myself  engaged  to 
Herr  Klesmer,  and  I  intend  to  marry  him." 

The  mother  turned  her  head  away  and  waved 
her  hand  in  sign  of  dismissal. 

"  It's  all  very  fine,"  said  Mr  Arrowpoint,  when 
Catherine  was  gone ;  "  but  what  the  deuce  are  we 
to  do  with  the  property  ?  " 

"There  is  Harry  Brendall.  He  can  take  the 

"  Harry  Brendall  will  get  through  it  all  in  no 
time,"  said  Mr  Arrowpoint,  relighting  his  cigar. 

And  thus,  with  nothing  settled  but  the  deter- 
mination of  the  lovers,  Klesmer  had  left  Quetcham. 



Among  the  heirs  of  Art,  as  at  the  division  of  the  promised  land,  each  has 
to  win  his  portion  by  hard  fighting  :  the  bestowal  is  after  the  manner  of 
prophecy,  and  is  a  title  without  possession.  To  carry  the  map  of  an  un- 
gotten  estate  in  your  pocket  is  a  poor  sort  of  copyhold.  And  in  fancy  to 
cast  his  shoe  over  Edon  is  little  warrant  that  a  man  shall  ever  set  the  sole 
of  his  foot  on  an  acre  of  his  own  there. 

The  most  obstinate  beliefs  that  mortals  entertain  about  themselves  are 
such  as  they  have  no  evidence  for  beyond  a  constant,  spontaneous  pulsing 
of  their  self-satisfaction— as  it  were  a  hidden  seed  of  madness,  a  confidence 
that  they  can  move  the  world  without  precise  notion  of  standing-place  or 

"Pray  go  to  church,  mamma,"  said  Gwendolen 
the  next  morning.  "  I  prefer  seeing  Herr  Klesmer 
alone."  (He  had  written  in  reply  to  her  note 
that  he  would  be  with  her  at  eleven.) 

"That  is  hardly  correct,  I  think,"  said  Mrs 
Davilow,  anxiously. 

*'  Our  affairs  are  too  serious  for  us  to  think  of 
such  nonsensical  rules,"  said  Gwendolen,  con- 
temptuously. "They  are  insulting  as  well  as 


"  You  would  not  mind  Isabel  sitting  with  you  ? 
She  would  be  reading  in  a  corner." 

"No,  she  could  not:  she  would  bite  her  nails 
and  stare.  It  would  be  too  irritating.  Trust  my 
judgment,  mamma.  I  must  be  alone.  Take  them 
all  to  church." 

Gwendolen  had  her  way,  of  course  ;  only  that 
Miss  Merry  and  two  of  the  girls  stayed  at  home,  to 
give  the  house  a  look  of  habitation  by  sitting  at 
the  dining-room  windows. 

It  was  a  delicious  Sunday  morning.  The  melan- 
choly waning  sunshine  of  autumn  rested  on  the 
leaf-strown  grass  and  came  mildly  through  the 
windows  in  slanting  bands  of  brightness  over  the 
old  furniture,  and  the  glass  panel  that  reflected 
the  furniture ;  over  the  tapestried  chairs  with  their 
faded  flower- wreaths,  the  dark  enigmatic  pictures, 
the  superannuated  organ  at  which  Gwendolen  had 
pleased  herself  with  acting  Saint  Cecilia  on  her 
first  joyous  arrival,  the  crowd  of  pallid,  dusty  knick- 
knacks  seen  through  the  open  doors  of  the  ante- 
chamber where  she  had  achieved  the  wearing  of 
her  Greek  dress  as  Hermione.  This  last  memory 
was  just  now  very  busy  in  her;  for  had  not  Klesmer 
then  been  struck  with  admiration  of  her  pose  and 
expression?  Whatever  he  had  said,  whatever  she 
imagined  him  to  have  thought,  was  at  this  moment 


pointed  with  keenest  interest  for  her :  perhaps 
she  had  never  before  in  her  life  felt  so  inwardly 
dependent,  so  consciously  in  need  of  another  per- 
son's opinion.  There  was  a  new  fluttering  of 
spirit  within  her,  a  new  element  of  deliberation  in 
her  self-estimate  which  had  hitherto  been  a  bliss- 
ful gift  of  intuition.  Still  it  was  the  recurrent 
burthen  of  her  inward  soliloquy  that  Klesmer 
had  seen  but  little  of  her,  and  any  unfavourable 
conclusion  of  his  must  have  too  narrow  a  founda- 
tion. She  really  felt  clever  enough  for  anything. 
To  fill  up  the  time  she  collected  her  volumes 
and  pieces  of  music,  and  laying  them  on  the  top 
of  the  piano,  set  herself  to  classify  them.  Then 
catching  the  reflection  of  her  movements  in  the 
glass  panel,  she  was  diverted  to  the  contemplation 
of  the  image  there  and  walked  towards  it.  Dressed 
in  black  without  a  single  ornament,  and  with  the 
warm  whiteness  of  her  skin  set  off  between  her 
light-brown  coronet  of  hair  and  her  square-cut 
bodice,  she  might  have  tempted  an  artist  to  try 
again  the  Eoman  trick  of  a  statue  in  black,  white, 
and  tawny  marble.  Seeing  her  image  slowly  ad- 
vancing, she  thought,  "  I  am  beautiful " — not  ex- 
ultingly,  but  with  grave  decision.  Being  beauti- 
ful was  after  all  the  condition  on  which  she  most 
needed  external  testimony.     If  any  one  objected 


to  the  turn  of  her  nose  or  the  form  of  her  neck 
and  chin,  she  had  not  the  sense  that  she  could 
presently  show  her  power  of  attainment  in  these 
branches  of  feminine  perfection. 

There  was  not  much  time  to  fill  up  in  this  way 
before  the  sound  of  wheels,  the  loud  ring,  and  the 
opening  doors,  assured  her  that  she  was  not  by  any 
accident  to  be  disappointed.  This  slightly  increased 
her  inward  flutter.  In  spite  of  her  self-confidence, 
she  dreaded  Klesmer  as  part  of  that  unmanageable 
world  which  was  independent  of  her  wishes — 
something  vitriolic  that  would  not  cease  to  burn 
because  you  smiled  or  frowned  at  it.  Poor  thing ! 
she  was  at  a  higher  crisis  of  her  woman's  fate 
than  in  her  past  experience  with  Grandcourt. 
The  questioning  then,  was  whether  she  should 
take  a  particular  man  as  a  husband.  The  inmost 
fold  of  her  questioning  now,  was  whether  she  need 
take  a  husband  at  all-^whether  she  could  not 
achieve  substantiality  for  herself  and  know  grati- 
fied ambition  without  bondage. 

Klesmer  made  his  most  deferential  bow  in  the 
wide  doorway  of  the  ante-chamber — showing  also 
the  deference  of  the  finest  grey  kerseymere  trousers 
and  perfect  gloves  (the  'masters  of  those  who 
know '  are  happily  altogether  human).  Gwendolen 
met  him  with  unusual  gravity,  and  holding  out  her 


hand,  said,  "  It  is  most  kind  of  you  to  come,  Herr 
IQesmer.  I  hope  you  have  not  thought  me  pre- 

"  I  took  your  wish  as  a  command  that  did  me 
honour,"  said  Klesmer,  with  answering  gravity. 
He  was  really  putting  by  his  own  affairs  in  order 
to  give  his  utmost  attention  to  what  Gwendolen 
might  have  to  say ;  but  his  temperament  was 
still  in  a  state  of  excitation  from  the  events  of 
yesterday,  likely  enough  to  give  his  expressions  a 
more  than  usually  biting  edge. 

Gwendolen  for  once  was  under  too  great  a  strain 
of  feeling  to  remember  formalities.  She  con- 
tinued standing  near  the  piano,  and  Klesmer 
took  his  stand  at  the  other  end  of  it,  with  his 
back  to  the  light  and  his  terribly  omniscient  eyes 
upon  her.  No  affectation  was  of  use,  and  she 
began  without  delay. 

"  I  wish  to  consult  you,  Herr  Klesmer.  "We 
have  lost  all  our  fortune;  we  have  nothing.  I 
must  get  my  own  bread,  and  I  desire  to  provide 
for  my  mamma,  so  as  to  save  her  from  any  hard- 
ship. The  only  way  I  can  think  of — and  I  should 
like  it  better  than  anything — is  to  be  an  actress 
— to  go  on  the  stage.  But  of  course  I  should  like 
to  take  a  high  position,  and  I  thought — if  you 
thought  I  could,"  —  here  Gwendolen  became  a 


little  more  nervous, — "  it  would  be  better  for  me 
to  be  a  singer — to  study  singing  also." 

Klesmer  put  down  his  bat  on  the  piano,  and 
folded  his  arms  as  if  to  concentrate  himself. 

"  I  know,"  Gwendolen  resumed,  turning  from 
pale  to  pink  and  back  again — "  I  know  that  my 
method  of  singing  is  very  defective  ;  but  I  have 
been  ill  taught.  I  could  be  better  taught ;  I  could 
study.  And  you  will  understand  my  wish : — to 
sing  and  act  too,  like  Grisi,  is  a  much  higher  posi- 
tion. Naturally,  I  should  wish  to  take  as  high 
a  rank  as  I  can.  And  I  can  rely  on  your  judg- 
ment.    I  am  sure  you  will  tell  me  the  truth." 

Gwendolen  somehow  had  the  conviction  that 
now  she  made  this  serious  appeal  the  truth  would 
be  favourable. 

Still  Klesmer  did  not  speak.  He  drew  off  his 
gloves  quickly,  tossed  them  into  his  hat,  rested 
his  hands  on  his  hips,  and  walked  to  the  other 
end  of  the  room.  He  was  filled  with  compassion 
for  this  girl :  he  wanted  to  put  a  guard  on  his 
speech.  When  he  turned  again,  he  looked  at  her 
with  a  mild  frown  of  inquiry,  and  said  with  gentle 
though  quick  utterance,  "You  have  never  seen 
anything,  I  think,  of  artists  and  their  lives  ? — I 
mean  of  musicians,  actors,  artists  of  that  kind  ? " 

"  Oh  no,"  said  Gwendolen,  not  perturbed  by  a 


reference  to  this  obvious  fact  in  the  history  of  a 
young  lady  hitherto  well  provided  for. 

"You  are, — pardon  me,"  said  Klesmer,  again 
pausing  near  the  piano — "  in  coming  to  a  conclu- 
sion on  such  a  matter  as  this,  everything  must 
be  taken  into  consideration, — you  are  perhaps 

"I  am  twenty-one,"  said  Gwendolen,  a  slight 
fear  rising  in  her.  "  Do  you  think  I  am  too 

Klesmer  pouted  his  under  lip  and  shook  his 
long  fingers  upward  in  a  manner  totally  enig- 

"  Many  persons  begin  later  than  others,"  said 
Gwendolen,  betrayed  by  her  habitual  conscious- 
ness of  having  valuable  information  to  bestow. 

Klesmer  took  no  notice,  but  said  with  more 
studied  gentleness  than  ever,  "  You  have  probably 
not  thought  of  an  artistic  career  until  now :  you 
did  not  entertain  the  notion,  the  longing — what 
shall  I  say  ? — you  did  not  wish  yourself  an  actress, 
or  anything  of  that  sort,  till  the  present  trouble  ?" 

"  Not  exactly  ;  but  I  was  fond  of  acting.  I 
have  acted  ;  you  saw  me,  if  you  remember — 
you  saw  me  here  in  charades,  and  as  Hermione," 
said  Gwendolen,  really  fearing  that  Klesmer  had 


"  Yes,  yes,"  he  answered  quickly,  "  I  remember 
— I  remember  perfectly,"  and  again  walked  to  the 
other  end  of  the  room.  It  was  difficult  for  him  to 
refrain  from  this  kind  of  movement  when  he  was 
in  any  argument  either  audible  or  silent. 

Gwendolen  felt  that  she  was  being  weighed. 
The  delay  was  unpleasant.  But  she  did  not  yet 
conceive  that  the  scale  could  dip  on  the  wrong 
side,  and  it  seemed  to  her  only  graceful  to  say, 
"  I  shall  be  very  much  obliged  to  you  for  taking 
the  trouble  to  give  me  your  advice,  whatever  it 
may  be." 

"  Miss  Harleth,"  said  Klesmer,  turning  towards 
her  and  speaking  with  a  slight  increase  of  accent, 
"  I  will  veil  nothing  from  you  in  this  matter.  I 
should  reckon  myself  guilty  if  I  put  a  false  visage 
on  things — made  them  too  black  or  too  white. 
The  gods  have  a  curse  for  him  who  willingly 
tells  another  the  wrong  road.  And  if  I  misled 
one  who  is  so  young,  so  beautiful — who,  I  trust, 
wiU  find  her  happiness  along  the  right  road,  I 
should  regard  myself  as  a — Bosewicht."  In  the 
last  word  Klesmer's  voice  had  dropped  to  a  loud 

Gwendolen  felt  a  sinking  of  heart  under  this 
unexpected  solemnity,  and  kept  a  sort  of  fascinated 
gaze  on  Klesmer's  face,  while  he  went  on. 


"You  are  a  beautiful  young  lady — you  have 
been  brought  up  in  ease — you  have  done  what 
you  would — you  have  not  said  to  yourself,  *  I  must 
know  this  exactly,'  '  I  must  understand  this  ex- 
actly/ *  I  must  do  this  exactly' " — in  uttering  these 
three  terrible  musts,  Klesmer  lifted  up  three  long 
fingers  in  succession.  "In  sum,  you  have  not 
been  called  upon  to  be  anything  but  a  charming 
young  lady,  whom  it  is  an  impoliteness  to  find 
fault  with." 

He  paused  an  instant ;  then  resting  his  fingers 
on  his  hips  again,  and  thrusting  out  his  powerful 
chin,  he  said — 

"Well,  then,  with  that  preparation,  you  wish 
to  try  the  life  of  the  artist ;  you  wish  to  try  a  life 
of  arduous,  unceasing  work,  and — uncertain  praise. 
Your  praise  would  have  to  be  earned,  like  your 
bread  ;  and  both  would  come  slowly,  scantily — 
what  do  I  say  ? — they  might  hardly  come  at  all." 

This  tone  of  discouragement,  which  Klesmer 
half  hoped  might  suffice  without  anything  more 
unpleasant,  roused  some  resistance  in  Gwendolen. 
With  a  slight  turn  of  her  head  away  from  him, 
and  an  air  of  pique,  she  said — 

"  I  thought  that  you,  being  an  artist,  would  con- 
sider the  life  one  of  the  most  honourable  and 
delightful.    And  if  I  can  do  nothing  better  ? — I 


suppose  I  can  put  up  with  the  same  risks  as  other 
people  do." 

"Do  nothing  better?"  said  Klesmer,  a  little 
fired.  "  No,  my  dear  Miss  Harleth,  you  could  do 
nothing  better — neither  man  nor  woman  could  do 
anything  better — if  you  could  do  what  was  best 
or  good  of  its  kind.  I  am  not  decrying  the  life  of 
the  true  artist.  I  am  exalting  it.  I  say,  it  is  out 
of  the  reach  of  any  but  choice  organisations — 
natures  framed  to  love  perfection  and  to  labour 
for  it;  ready,  like  all  true  lovers,  to  endure,  to 
wait,  to  say,  I  am  not  yet  worthy,  but  she — Art, 
my  mistress — is  worthy,  and  I  will  live  to  merit 
her.  An  honourable  life  ?  Yes.  But  the  honour 
comes  from  the  inward  vocation  and  the  hard- won 
achievement :  there  is  no  honour  in  donning  the 
life  as  a  livery." 

Some  excitement  of  yesterday  had  revived  in 
Klesmer  and  hurried  him  into  speech  a  little  aloof 
from  his  immediate  friendly  purpose.  He  had 
wished  as  delicately  as  possible  to  rouse  in  Gwen- 
dolen a  sense  of  her  unfitness  for  a  perilous,  diffi- 
cult course ;  but  it  was  his  wont  to  be  angry  with 
the  pretensions  of  incompetence,  and  he  was  in 
danger  of  getting  chafed.  Conscious  of  this  he 
paused  suddenly.  But  Gwendolen's  chief  impres- 
sion was  that  he  had  not  yet  denied  her  the  power 

VOL.  IL  G 


of  doing  what  would  be  good  of  its  kind.  Klesmer's 
fervour  seemed  to  be  a  sort  of  glamour  such  as  he 
was  prone  to  throw  over  things  in  general ;  and 
what  she  desired  to  assure  him  of  was  that  she 
was  not  afraid  of  some  preliminary  hardships. 
The  belief  that  to  present  herself  in  public  on  the 
stage  must  produce  an  effect  such  as  she  had 
been  used  to  feel  certain  of  in  private  life,  was 
like  a  bit  of  her  flesh — it  was  not  to  be  peeled 
off  readily,  but  must  come  with  blood  and  pain. 
She  said,  in  a  tone  of  some  insistance — 

*'  I  am  quite  prepared  to  bear  hardships  at  first. 
Of  course  no  one  can  become  celebrated  all  at 
once.  And  it  is  not  necessary  that  every  one 
should  be  first-rate — either  actresses  or  singers. 
If  you  would  be  so  kind  as  to  tell  me  what  steps 
I  should  take,  I  shall  have  the  courage  to  take 
them.  I  don't  mind  going  up  hill.  It  will  be 
easier  than  the  dead  level  of  being  a  governess. 
I  will  take  any  steps  you  recommend." 

Klesmer  was  more  convinced  now  that  he  must 
speak  plainly. 

"  I  will  tell  you  the  steps,  not  that  I  recommend, 
but  that  will  be  forced  upon  you.  It  is  all  one,  so 
far,  what  your  goal  may  be — excellence,  celebrity, 
second,  third  rateness — it  is  all  one.  You  must 
go  to  town  under  the  protection  of  your  mother. 


You  must  put  yourself  under  trainiug — musical, 
dramatic,  theatrical : — whatever  you  desire  to  do, 

you  have  to  learn "  here  Gwendolen  looked  as 

if  she  were  going  to  speak,  but  Klesmer  lifted  up 
his  hand  and  said  decisively,  "  I  know.  You  have 
exercised  your  talents — you  recite — you  sing — 
from  the  drawing-room  standpunkt.  My  dear 
Fraulein,  you  must  unlearn  all  that.  You  have 
not  yet  conceived  what  excellence  is :  you  must 
unlearn  your  mistaken  admirations.  You  must 
know  what  you  have  to  strive  for,  and  then  you 
must  subdue  your  mind  and  body  to  unbroken 
discipline.  Your  mind,  I  say.  For  you  must  not 
be  thinking  of  celebrity : — put  that  candle  out  of 
your  eyes,  and  look  only  at  excellence.  You 
would  of  course  earn  nothing — you  could  get  no 
engagement  for  a  long  while.  You  would  need 
money  for  yourself  and  your  family.  But  that," 
here  Klesmer  frowned  and  shook  his  fingers  as 
if  to  dismiss  a  triviality — "  that  could  perhaps  be 

Gwendolen  turned  pink  and  pale  during  this 
speech.  Her  pride  had  felt  a  terrible  knife-edge, 
and  the  last  sentence  only  made  the  smart  keener. 
She  was  conscious  of  appearing  moved,  and  tried 
to  escape  from  her  weakness  by  suddenly  walking 
to  a  seat  and  pointing  out  a  chair  to  Klesmer. 


He  did  not  take  it,  but  turned  a  little  in  order  to 
face  her  and  leaned  against  the  piano.  At  that 
moment  she  wished  that  she  had  not  sent  for 
him :  this  first  experience  of  being  taken  on  some 
other  ground  than  that  of  her  social  rank  and  her 
beauty  was  becoming  bitter  to  her.  Klesmer,  pre- 
occupied with  a  serious  purpose,  went  on  without 
change  of  tone. 

"  Now,  what  sort  of  issue  might  be  fairly  ex- 
pected from  all  this  self-denial  ?  You  would  ask 
that.  It  is  right  that  your  eyes  should  be  open 
to  it.  I  will  tell  you  truthfully.  The  issue  would 
be  uncertain  and — most  probably — would  not  be 
worth  much." 

At  these  relentless  words  Klesmer  put  out  his 
lip  and  looked  through  his  spectacles  with  the  air 
of  a  monster  impenetrable  by  beauty. 

Gwendolen's  eyes  began  to  burn,  but  the  dread 
of  showing  weakness  urged  her  to  added  self-con- 
trol. She  compelled  herself  to  say  in  a  hard 
tone — 

"You  thinlc  I  want  talent,  or  am  too  old  to 

Klesmer  made  a  sort  of  hum  and  then  descended 
on  an  emphatic  "  Yes !  The  desire  and  the  train- 
ing should  have  begun  seven  years  ago — or  a  good 
deal  earlier.     A  mountebank's  child  who  helps  her 


father  to  earn  shillings  when  she  is  six  years  old 
— a  child  that  inherits  a  singing  throat  from  a 
long  line  of  choristers  and  learns  to  sing  as  it  learns 
to  talk,  has  a  likelier  beginning.  Any  great 
achievement  in  acting  or  in  music  grows  with 
the  growth.  Wlienever  an  artist  has  been  able  to 
say, '  I  came,  I  saw,  I  conquered,'  it  has  been  at 
the  end  of  patient  practice.  Genius  at  first  is 
little  more  than  a  great  capacity  for  receiving 
discipline.  Singing  and  acting,  like  the  fine 
dexterity  of  the  juggler  with  his  cups  and  balls, 
require  a  shaping  of  the  organs  towards  a  finer 
and  finer  certainty  of  effect.  Your  muscles — ^your 
whole  frame — must  go  like  a  watch,  true,  true, 
true,  to  a  hair.  That  is  the  work  of  spring-time, 
before  habits  have  been  determined." 

"  I  did  not  pretend  to  genius,"  said  Gwendolen, 
still  feeling  that  she  might  somehow  do  what 
Klesmer  wanted  to  represent  as  impossible.  "I 
only  supposed  that  I  might  have  a  little  talent — 
enough  to  improve." 

"I  don't  deny  that,"  said  Klesmer.  "If  you 
had  been  put  in  the  right  track  some  years  ago 
and  had  worked  well,  you  might  now  have  made 
a  public  singer,  though  I  don't  think  your  voice 
would  have  counted  for  much  in  public.  For  the 
stage  your  personal  charms  and  intelligence  might 


then  have  told  without  the  present  drawback  of 
inexperience — lack  of  discipline — lack  of  instruc- 

Certainly  Klesmer  seemed  cruel,  but  his  feel- 
ing was  the  reverse  of  cruel.  Our  speech  even 
when  we  are  most  single-minded  can  never  take 
its  line  absolutely  from  one  impulse;  but  Kles- 
mer's  was  as  far  as  possible  directed  by  compassion 
for  poor  Gwendolen's  ignorant  eagerness  to  enter  on 
a  course  of  which  he  saw  all  the  miserable  details 
with  a  definiteness  which  he  could  not  if  he  would 
have  conveyed  to  her  mind. 

Gwendolen,  however,  was  not  convinced.  Her 
self-opinion  rallied,  and  since  the  counsellor  whom 
she  had  called  in  gave  a  decision  of  such  severe 
peremptoriness,  she  was  tempted  to  think  that  his 
judgment  was  not  only  fallible  but  biassed.  It 
occurred  to  her  that  a  simpler  and  wiser  step  for 
her  to  have  taken  would  have  been  to  send  a 
letter  through  the  post  to  the  manager  of  a  London 
theatre,  asking  him  to  make  an  appointment. 
She  would  make  no  further  reference  to  her  sing- 
ing: Klesmer,  she  saw,  had  set  himself  against 
her  singing.  But  she  felt  equal  to  arguing  with 
him  about  her  going  on  the  stage,  and  she  an- 
swered in  a  resistant  tone — 

*'  I  understand,  of  course,  that  no  one  can  be  a 


finished  actress  at  once.  It  may  be  impossible  to 
tell  beforehand  whether  I  should  succeed ;  but 
that  seems  to  me  a  reason  why  I  should  try.  I 
should  have  thought  that  I  might  have  taken  an 
engagement  at  a  theatre  meanwhile,  so  as  to  earn 
money  and  study  at  the  same  time." 

"  Can't  be  done,  my  dear  Miss  Harleth — I  speak 
plainly — it  can't  be  done.  I  must  clear  your 
mind  of  these  notions,  which  have  no  more  resem- 
blance to  reality  than  a  pantomime.  Ladies  and 
gentlemen  think  that  when  they  have  made  their 
toilet  and  drawn  on  their  gloves  they  are  as 
presentable  on  the  stage  as  in  a  drawing-room. 
No  manager  thinks  that.  With  all  your  grace  and 
charm,  if  you  were  to  present  yourself  as  an  aspir- 
ant to  the  stage,  a  manager  would  either  require 
you  to  pay  as  an  amateur  for  being  allowed  to 
perform,  or  he  would  tell  you  to  go  and  be  taught 
— trained  to  bear  yourself  on  the  stage,  as  a  horse, 
however  beautiful,  must  be  trained  for  the  circus  ; 
to  say  nothing  of  that  study  which  would  enable 
you  to  personate  a  character  consistently,  and 
animate  it  with  the  natural  language  of  face, 
gesture,  and  tone.  For  you  to  get  an  engagement 
fit  for  you  straight  away  is  out  of  the  question." 

"  I  really  cannot  understand  that,"  said  Gwen- 
dolen, rather  haughtily — then,  checking  herself. 


she  added  in  another  tone — "  I  shall  be  obliged  to 
you  if  you  will  explain  how  it  is  that  such  poor 
actresses  get  engaged.  I  have  been  to  the  theatre 
several  times,  and  I  am  sure  there  were  actresses 
who  seemed  to  me  to  act  not  at  all  well  and  who 
were  quite  plain." 

"  Ah,  my  dear  Miss  Harleth,  that  is  the  easy 
criticism  of  the  buyer.  We  who  buy  slippers  toss 
away  this  pair  and  the  other  as  clumsy ;  but  there 
went  an  apprenticeship  to  the  making  of  them. 
Excuse  me :  you  could  not  at  present  teach  one  of 
those  actresses  ;  but  there  is  certainly  much  that 
she  could  teach  you.  For  example,  she  can  pitch 
her  voice  so  as  to  be  heard  :  ten  to  one  you  could 
not  do  it  till  after  many  trials.  Merely  to  stand 
and  move  on  the  stage  is  an  art — requires  practice. 
It  is  understood  that  we  are  not  now  talking 
of  a  comparse  in  a  petty  theatre  who  earns  the 
wages  of  a  needlewoman.  That  is  out  of  the 
question  for  you." 

"  Of  course  I  must  earn  more  than  that,"  said 
Gwendolen,  with  a  sense  of  wincing  rather  than 
of  being  refuted ;  "  but  I  think  I  could  soon  learn 
to  do  tolerably  well  all  those  little  things  you 
have  mentioned.  I  am  not  so  very  stupid.  And 
even  in  Paris  I  am  sure  I  saw  two  actresses  play- 
ing important  ladies'  parts  who  were  not  at  all 
ladies  and  quite  ugly.     I  suppose  I  have  no  par- 


ticular  talent,  but  I  must  think  it  is  an  advantage, 
even  on  the  stage,  to  be  a  lady  and  not  a  perfect 

"  Ah,  let  us  understand  each  other,"  said  Kles- 
mer,  with  a  flash  of  new  meaning.  "  I  was  speak- 
ing of  what  you  would  have  to  go  through  if  you 
aimed  at  becoming  a  real  artist — if  you  took  music 
and  the  drama  as  a  higher  vocation  in  which  you 
would  strive  after  excellence.  On  that  head,  what 
I  have  said  stands  fast.  You  would  find — after 
your  education  in  doing  things  slackly  for  one-and- 
twenty  years — great  difficulties  in  study:  you 
would  find  mortifications  in  the  treatment  you 
would  get  when  you  presented  yourself  on  the 
footing  of  skill.  You  would  be  subjected  to  tests  ; 
people  would  no  longer  feign  not  to  see  your 
blunders.  You  would  at  first  only  be  accepted  on 
trial  You  would  have  to  bear  what  I  may  call  a 
glaring  insignificance  :  any  success  must  be  won 
by  the  utmost  patience.  You  would  have  to  keep 
your  place  in  a  crowd,  and  after  all  it  is  likely 
you  would  lose  it  and  get  out  of  sight.  If  you  de- 
termine to  face  these  hardships  and  still  try,  you 
will  have  the  dignity  of  a  high  purpose,  even 
though  you  may  have  chosen  unfortunately.  You 
will  have  some  merit,  though  you  may  win  no 
prize.  You  have  asked  my  judgment  on  your 
chances  of  winning.    I  don't  pretend  to  speak  ab- 


solutely;  but  measuring  probabilities,  my  judg- 
ment is: — you  will  hardly  achieve  more  than 

Klesmer  had  delivered  himself  with  emphatic 
rapidity,  and  now  paused  a  moment.  Gwendo- 
len was  motionless,  looking  at  her  hands,  which 
lay  over  each  other  on  her  lap,  till  the  deep- 
toned,  long-drawn  "  But,"  with  which  he  resumed, 
had  a  startling  effect,  and  made  her  look  at  him 

"  But — there  are  certainly  other  ideas,  other  dis- 
positions with  which  a  young  lady  may  take  up 
an  art  that  will  bring  her  before  the  public.  She 
may  rely  on  the  unquestioned  power  of  her  beauty 
as  a  passport.  She  may  desire  to  exhibit  herself 
to  an  admiration  which  dispenses  with  skill.  This 
goes  a  certain  way  on  the  stage :  not  in  music : 
but  on  the  stage,  beauty  is  taken  when  there  is 
nothing  more  commanding  to  be  had.  Not  with- 
out some  drilling,  however  :  as  I  have  said  before, 
technicalities  have  in  any  case  to  be  mastered. 
But  these  excepted,  we  have  here  nothing  to  do 
with  art.  The  woman  who  takes  up  this  career 
is  not  an  artist :  she  is  usually  one  who  thinks  of 
entering  on  a  luxurious  life  by  a  short  and  easy 
road — perhaps  by  marriage — that  is  her  most 
brilliant  chance,  and  the  rarest.     Still,  her  career 


will  not  be  luxurious  to  begin  with:  she  can 
hardly  earn  her  own  poor  bread  independently  at 
once,  and  the  indignities  she  will  be  liable  to  are 
such  as  I  will  not  speak  of." 

"  1  desire  to  be  independent,"  said  Gwendolen, 
deeply  stung  and  confusedly  apprehending  some 
scorn  for  herself  in  Klesmer's  words.  "  That  was 
my  reason  for  asking  whether  I  could  not  get  an 
immediate  engagement.  Of  course  I  cannot  know 
how  things  go  on  about  theatres.  But  I  thought 
that  I  could  have  made  myself  independent.  I 
have  no  money,  and  I  will  not  accept  help  from 
any  one." 

Her  wounded  pride  could  not  rest  without 
making  this  disclaimer.  It  was  intolerable  to  her 
that  Klesmer  should  imagine  her  to  have  expected 
other  help  from  him  than  advice. 

"  That  is  a  hard  saying  for  your  friends,"  said 
Klesmer,  recovering  the  gentleness  of  tone  with 
which  he  had  begun  the  conversation.  "  I  have 
given  you  pain.  That  was  inevitable.  I  was 
bound  to  put  the  truth,  the  unvarnished  truth  be- 
fore you.  I  have  not  said — I  will  not  say — you 
will  do  wrong  to  choose  the  hard,  climbing  path 
of  an  endeavouring  artist.  You  have  to  compare 
its  difficulties  with  those  of  any  less  hazardous 
— any  more   private   course  which  opens   itself 


to  you.  If  you  take  that  more  courageous  re- 
solve I  will  ask  leave  to  shake  hands  v^ith  you 
on  the  strength  of  our  freemasonry,  where  we 
are  all  vowed  to  the  service  of  Art,  and  to  serve 
her  by  helping  every  fellow-servant/' 

Gwendolen  was  silent,  again  looking  at  her 
hands.  She  felt  herself  very  far  away  from  taking 
the  resolve  that  would  enforce  acceptance ;  and 
after  waiting  an  instant  or  two,  Klesmer  went  on 
with  deepened  seriousness. 

"  Where  there  is  the  duty  of  service  there  must 
be  the  duty  of  accepting  it.  The  question  is  not 
one  of  personal  obligation.  And  in  relation  to 
practical  matters  immediately  affecting  your  future 
— excuse  my  permitting  myself  to  mention  in  con- 
fidence an  affair  of  my  own.  I  am  expecting  an 
event  which  would  make  it  easy  for  me  to  exert 
myself  on  your  behalf  in  furthering  your  oppor- 
tunities of  instruction  and  residence  in  London — 
under  the  care,  that  is,  of  your  family — without 
need  for  anxiety  on  your  part.  If  you  resolve  to 
take  art  as  a  bread-study,  you  need  only  under- 
take the  study  at  first ;  the  bread  will  be  found 
without  trouble.  The  event  I  mean  is  my  marriage, 
— in  fact — you  will  receive  this  as  a  matter  of  confi- 
dence,— my  marriage  with  Miss  Arrowpoint,  which 
will  more  than  double  such  right  as  I  have  to  be 


trusted  by  you  as  a  friend.  Your  friendship  will 
have  greatly  risen  in  value  for  her  by  your  having 
adopted  that  generous  labour." 

Gwendolen's  face  had  begun  to  burn.  That 
Klesmer  was  about  to  marry  Miss  Arrowpoint 
caused  her  no  surprise,  and  at  another  moment 
she  would  have  amused  herself  in  quickly  ima- 
gining the  scenes  that  must  have  occurred  at 
Quetcham.  But  what  engrossed  her  feeling,  what 
filled  her  imagination  now,  was  the  panorama  of 
her  own  immediate  future  that  Klesmer's  words 
seemed  to  have  unfolded.  The  suggestion  of 
Miss  Arrowpoint  as  a  patroness  was  only  another 
detail  added  to  its  repulsiveness :  Klesmer's  pro- 
posal to  help  her  seemed  an  additional  irritation 
after  the  humiliating  judgment  he  had  passed  on 
her  capabilities.  His  words  had  really  bitten 
into  her  self-confidence  and  turned  it  into  the 
pain  of  a  bleeding  wound ;  and  the  idea  of  pre- 
senting herself  before  other  judges  was  now 
poisoned  with  the  dread  that  they  also  might  be 
harsh :  they  also  would  not  recognise  the  talent 
she  was  conscious  of  But  she  controlled  herself, 
and  rose  from  her  seat  before  she  made  any 
answer.  It  seemed  natural  that  she  should  pause. 
She  went  to  the  piano  and  looked  absently  at 
leaves  of  music,  pinching  up  the  corners.     At 


last  she  turned  towards  Klesmer  and  said,  with 
almost  her  usual  air  of  proud  equality,  which  in 
this  interview  had  not  been  hitherto  perceptible — 

"I  congratulate  you  sincerely,  Herr  Klesmer. 
I  think  I  never  saw  any  one  more  admirable  than 
Miss  Arrowpoint.  And  I  have  to  thank  you  for 
every  sort  of  kindness  this  morning.  But  I  can't 
decide  now.  If  I  make  the  resolve  you  have 
spoken  of,  I  will  use  your  .permission — I  will  let 
you  know.  But  I  fear  the  obstacles  are  too  great. 
In  any  case,  I  am  deeply  obliged  to  you.  It  was 
very  bold  of  me  to  ask  you  to  take  this  trouble." 

Klesmer's  inward  remark  was,  "  She  will  never 
let  me  know."  But  with  the  most  thorough  respect 
in  his  manner,  he  said,  "  Command  me  at  any 
time.  There  is  an  address  on  this  card  which  will 
always  find  me  with  little  delay." 

When  he  had  taken  up  his  hat  and  was  going 
to  make  his  bow,  Gwendolen's  better  self,  con- 
scious of  an  ingratitude  which  the  clear-seeing 
Klesmer  must  have  penetrated,  made  a  desperate 
effort  to  find  its  way  above  the  stifling  layers  of 
egoistic  disappointment  and  irritation.  Looking 
at  him  with  a  glance  of  the  old  gaiety,  she  put 
out  her  hand,  and  said  with  a  smile,  "  If  I  take 
the  wrong  road,  it  will  not  be  because  of  your 


"God  forbid  that  you  should  take  any  road 
but  one  where  you  will  find  and  give  happiness  ! " 
said  Klesmer,  fervently.  Then,  in  foreign  fashion, 
he  touched  her  fingers  lightly  with  his  lips,  and 
in  another  minute  she  heard  the  sound  of  his  de- 
parting wheels  getting  more  distant  on  the  gravel. 

Gwendolen  had  never  in  her  life  felt  so  miser- 
able. No  sob  came,  no  passion  of  tears,  to  relieve 
her.  Her  eyes  were  burning;  and  the  noonday 
only  brought  into  more  dreary  clearness  the 
absence  of  interest  from  her  life.  All  memories, 
all  objects,  the  pieces  of  music  displayed,  the  open 
piano — the  very  reflection  of  herself  in  the  glass — 
seemed  no  better  than  the  packed-up  shows  of 
a  departing  fair.  For  the  first  time  since  her 
consciousness  began,  she  was  having  a  vision  of 
herself  on  the  common  level,  and  had  lost  the 
innate  sense  that  there  were  reasons  why  she 
should  not  be  slighted,  elbowed,  jostled — treated 
like  a  passenger  with  a  third-class  ticket,  in  spite 
of  private  objections  on  her  own  part.  She  did 
not  move  about ;  the  prospects  begotten  by  dis- 
appointment were  too  oppressively  preoccupying ; 
she  threw  herself  into  the  shadiest  corner  of  a 
settee,  and  pressed  her  fingers  over  her  burning 
eyelids.  Every  word  that  Klesmer  had  said 
seemed  to  have  been  branded  into  her  memory, 


as  most  words  are  which  bring  with  them  a  new 
set  of  impressions  and  make  an  epoch  for  us. 
Only  a  few  hours  before,  the  dawning  smile  of 
self-contentment  rested  on  her  lips  as  she  vaguely 
imagined  a  future  suited  to  her  wishes  :  it  seemed 
but  the  affair  of  a  year  or  so  for  her  to  become  the 
most  approved  Juliet  of  the  time  ;  or,  if  Klesmer 
encouraged  her  idea  of  being  a  singer,  to  proceed 
by  more  gradual  steps  to  her  place  in  the  opera, 
while  she  won  money  and  applause  by  occasional 
performances.  Why  not  ?  At  home,  at  school, 
among  acquaintances,  she  had  been  used  to  have 
her  conscious  superiority  admitted  ;  and  she  had 
moved  in  a  society  where  everything,  from  low 
arithmetic  to  high  art,  is  of  the  amateur  kind 
politely  supposed  to  fall  short  of  perfection  only 
because  gentlemen  and  ladies  are  not  obliged  to 
do  more  than  they  like — otherwise  they  would 
probably  give  forth  abler  writings  and  show  them- 
selves more  commanding  artists  than  any  the 
world  is  at  present  obliged  to  put  up  with.  The 
self-confident  visions  that  had  beguiled  her  were 
not  of  a  highly  exceptional  kind ;  and  she  had  at 
least  shown  some  rationality  in  consulting  the 
person  who  knew  the  most  and  had  flattered  her 
the  least.  In  asking  Klesmer's  advice,  however, 
she  had  rather  been  borne  up  by  a  belief  in  his 


latent  admiration  than  bent  on  knowing  anything 
more  unfavourable  that  might  have  lain  behind 
his  slight  objections  to  her  singing ;  and  the  truth 
she  had  asked  for  with  an  expectation  that  it 
would  be  agreeable,  had  come  like  a  lacerating 

"  Too  old — should  have  begun  seven  years  ago 
— ^you  will  not,  at  best,  achieve  more  than  medi- 
ocrity— ^hard,  incessant  work,  imcertain  praise — 
bread  coming  slowly,  scantily,  perhaps  not  at  all 
— ^mortifications,  people  no  longer  feigning  not  to 
see  your  blunders  —  glaring  insignificance" — all 
these  phrases  rankled  in  her  ;  and  even  more 
galling  was  the  hint  that  she  could  only  be  ac- 
cepted on  the  stage  as  a  beauty  who  hoped  to  get 
a  husband.  The  " indignities"  that  she  might  be 
visited  with  had  no  very  definite  form  for  her,  but 
the  mere  association  of  anything  called  "indig- 
nity" with  herself,  roused  a  resentful  alarm.  And 
along  with  the  vaguer  images  which  were  raised 
by  those  biting  words,  came  the  more  precise  con- 
ception of  disagreeables  which  her  experience 
enabled  her  to  imagine.  How  could  she  take  her 
mamma  and  the  four  sisters  to  London,  if  it  were 
not  possible  for  her  to  earn  money  at  once  ?  And 
as  for  submitting  to  be  a  proUg^ey  and  a^ing  her 
mamma  to  submit  with  her  to  the  humiliation  of 

VOL.  II.  H 


being  supported  by  Miss  Arrowpoint — that  was  as 
bad  as  being  a  governess ;  nay,  worse  ;  for  suppose 
the  end  of  all  her  study  to  be  as  worthless  as  Kles- 
mer  clearly  expected  it  to  be,  the  sense  of  favours 
received  and  never  repaid,  would  embitter  the 
miseries  of  disappointment.  Klesmer  doubtless 
had  magnificent  ideas  about  helping  artists  ;  but 
how  could  he  know  the  feelings  of  ladies  j.n  such 
matters  ?  It  was  all  over  :  she  had  entertained  a 
mistaken  hope ;  and  there  was  an  end  of  it. 

"An  end  of  it ! "  said  Gwendolen,  aloud,  start- 
ing from  her  seat  as  she  heard  the  steps  and 
voices  of  her  mamma  and  sisters  coming  in  from 
church.  She  hurried  to  the  piano  and  began  gath- 
ering together  her  pieces  of  music  with  assumed 
diligence,  while  the  expression  on  her  pale  face 
and  in  her  burning  eyes  was  what  would  have 
suited  a  woman  enduring  a  wrong  which  she 
might  not  resent,  but  would  probably  revenge. 

"  Well,  my  darling,"  said  gentle  Mrs  Davilow, 
entering,  "I  see  by  the  wheel-marks  that  Klesmer 
has  been  here.  Have  you  been  satisfied  with  the 
interview?"  She  had  some  guesses  as  to  its 
object,  but  felt  timid  about  implying  them. 

"  Satisfied,  mamma  ?  oh  yes,"  said  Gwendolen, 
in  a  high  hard  tone,  for  which  she  must  be  ex- 
cused^ because  she  dreaded  a  scene  of  emotion. 


If  she  did  not  set  herself  resolutely  to  feign  proud 
indifference,  she  felt  that  she  must  fall  into  a  pas- 
sionate outburst  of  despair,  which  would  cut  her 
mamma  more  deeply  than  all  the  rest  of  their 

"  Your  uncle  and  aunt  were  disappointed  at  not 
seeing  you,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  coming  near  the 
piano,  and  watching  Gwendolen's  movements.  I 
only  said  that  you  wanted  rest." 

"  Quite  right,  mamma,"  said  Gwendolen,  in  the 
same  tone,  turning  to  put  away  some  music. 

"  Am  I  not  to  know  anything  now,  Gwendolen  ? 
Am  I  always  to  be  in  the  dark?"  said  Mrs 
Davilow,  too  keenly  sensitive  to  her  daughter's 
manner  and  expression  not  to  fear  that  something 
painful  had  occurred. 

"  There  is  really  nothing  to  tell  now,  mamma," 
said  Gwendolen,  in  a  still  higher  voice.  "  I  had 
a  mistaken  idea  about  something  I  could  do. 
Herr  Klesmer  has  undeceived  me.    That  is  all." 

"  Don't  look  and  speak  in  that  way,  my  dear 
child :  I  cannot  bear  it,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  break- 
ing down.     She  felt  an  undefinable  terror. 

Gwendolen  looked  at  her  a  moment  in  silence, 
biting  her  inner  lip ;  then  she  went  up  to  her,  and 
putting  her  hands  on  her  mamma's  shoulders, 
said  with  a  drop  of  her  voice  to  the  lowest  under- 


tone,  "Mamma,  don't  speak  to  me  now.  It  is 
useless  to  cry  and  waste  our  strength  over  what 
can't  be  altered.  You  will  live  at  Sawyer's  Cot- 
tage, and  I  am  going  to  the  bishop's  daughters. 
There  is  no  more  to  be  said.  Things  cannot  be 
altered,  and  who  cares  ?  It  makes  no  difference 
to  any  one  else  what  we  do.  We  must  try  not 
to  care  ourselves.  We  must  not  give  way.  I 
dread  giving  way.     Help  me  to  be  quiet." 

Mrs  Davilow  was  like  a  frightened  child  under 
her  daughter's  face  and  voice :  her  tears  were 
arrested  and  she  went  away  in  silence. 



"  I  question  things  and  do  not  find 
One  that  will  answer  to  my  mind  ; 
And  all  the  world  appears  unkind." 

— Wordsworth. 

Gwendolen  was  glad  that  she  had  got  through 
her  interview  with  Klesmer  before  meeting  her 
uncle  and  aunt.  She  had  made  up  her  mind  now 
that  there  were  only  disagreeables  before  her,  and 
she  felt  able  to  maintain  a  dogged  calm  in  the 
face  of  any  humiliation  that  might  be  proposed. 

The  meeting  did  not  happen  until  the  Mon- 
day, when  Gwendolen  went  to  the  rectory  with 
her  mamma.  They  had  called  at  Sawyer's  Cot- 
tage by  the  way,  and  had  seen  every  cranny  of 
the  narrow  rooms  in  a  mid-day  light  unsoftened 
by  blinds  and  curtains ;  for  the  furnishing  to  be 
done  by  gleanings  from  the  rectory  had  not  yet 

"How  shall  you  endure  it,  mamma?"  said 
Gwendolen,  as  they  walked  away.     She  had  not 


opened  her  lips  while  they  were  looking  round  at 
the  bare  walls  and  floors,  and  the  little  garden 
with  the  cabbage-stalks,  and  the  yew  arbour  all 
dust  and  cobwebs  within.  "You  and  the  four 
girls  all  in  that  closet  of  a  room,  with  the  green 
and  yellow  paper  pressing  on  your  eyes?  And 
without  me  ? " 

*'  It  will  be  some  comfort  that  you  have  not  to 
bear  it  too,  dear." 

"  If  it  were  not  that  I  must  get  some  money,  I 
would  rather  be  there  than  go  to  be  a  governess." 

"Don't  set  yourself  against  it  beforehand, 
Gwendolen.  If  you  go  to  the  palace  you  will 
have  every  luxury  about  you.  And  you  know 
how  much  you  have  always  cared  for  that.  You 
will  not  find  it  so  hard  as  going  up  and  down 
those  steep  narrow  stairs,  and  hearing  the  crock- 
ery rattle  through  the  house,  and  the  dear  girls 

"  It  is  like  a  bad  dream,"  said  Gwendolen,  im- 
petuously. "  I  cannot  believe  that  my  uncle  will 
let  you  go  to  such  a  place.  He  ought  to  have 
taken  some  other  steps." 

"Don't  be  unreasonable,  dear  child.  What 
could  he  have  done  ? " 

"  That  was  for  him  to  find  out.  It  seems  to  me 
a  very  extraordinary  world  if  people  in  our  posi- 


tion  must  sink  in  this  way  all  at  once,"  said 
Gwendolen,  the  other  worlds  with  which  she 
was  conversant  being  constructed  with  a  sense  of 
fitness  that  arranged  her  own  future  agreeably. 

It  was  her  tamper  that  framed  her  sentences 
under  this  entirely  new  pressure  of  evils:  she 
could  have  spoken  more  suitably  on  the  vicissi- 
tudes in  other  people's  lives,  though  it  was  nevei 
her  aspiration  to  express  herself  virtuously  so 
much  as  cleverly — a  point  to  be  remembered  in 
extenuation  of  her  words,  which  were  usually 
worse  than  she  was. 

And,  notwithstanding  the  keen  sense  of  her 
own  bruises,  she  was  capable  of  some  compunc- 
tion when  her  uncle  and  aunt  received  her  with 
a  more  affectionate  kindness  than  they  had  ever 
shown  before.  She  could  not  biit  be  struck  by 
the  dignified  cheerfulness  with  which  they  talked 
of  the  necessary  economies  in  their  way  of  living, 
and  in  the  education  of  the  boys.  Mr  Gascoigne's 
worth  of  character,  a  little  obscured  by  worldly 
opportunities — as  the  poetic  beauty  of  women  is 
obscured  by  the  demands  of  fashionable  dressing 
— showed  itself  to  great  advantage  under  this 
sudden  reduction  of  fortune.  Prompt  and  me- 
thodical, he  had  set  himself  not  only  to  put  down 
his  carriage,  but  to  reconsider  his  worn  suits  of 


clothes,  to  leave  off  meat  for  breakfast,  to  do 
without  periodicals,  to  get  Edwy  from  school  and 
arrange  hours  of  study  for  all  the  boys  under  him- 
self, and  to  order  the  whole  establishment  on  the 
sparest  footing  possible.  For  all  healthy  people 
economy  has  its  pleasures ;  and  the  Eector's  spirit 
had  spread  through  the  household.  Mrs  Gascoigne 
and  Anna,  who  always  made  papa  their  model, 
really  did  not  miss  anything  they  cared  about  for 
themselves,  and  in  all  sincerity  felt  that  the  sad- 
dest part  of  the  family  losses  was  the  change  for 
Mrs  Davilow  and  her  children. 

Anna  for  the  first  time  could  merge  her  resent- 
ment on  behalf  of  Eex  in  her  sympathy  with 
Gwendolen ;  and  Mrs  Gascoigne  was  disposed  to 
hope  that  trouble  would  have  a  salutary  effect  on 
her  niece,  without  thinking  it  her  duty  to  add 
any  bitters  by  way  of  increasing  the  salutariness. 
They  had  both  been  busy  devising  how  to  get 
blinds  and  curtains  for  the  cottage  out  of  the 
household  stores;  but  with  delicate  feeling  they 
left  these  matters  in  the  background,  and  talked 
at  first  of  Gwendolen's  journey,  and  the  comfort  it 
was  to  her  mamma  to  have  her  at  home  again. 

In  fact  there  was  nothing  for  Gwendolen  to 
take  as  a  justification  for  extending  her  discontent 
with  events  to  the  persons  immediately  around 


her,  and  she  felt  shaken  into  a  more  alert  atten- 
tion, as  if  by  a  call  to  drill  that  everybody  else 
was  obeying,  when  her  uncle  began  in  a  voice  of 
firm  kindness  to  talk  to  her  of  the  efforts  he  had 
been  making  to  get  her  a  situation  which  would 
offer  her  as  many  advantages  as  possible.  Mr 
Gascoigne  had  not  forgotten  Grandcourt,  but  the 
possibility  of  further  advances  from  that  quarter 
was  something  too  vague  for  a  man  of  his  good 
sense  to  be  determined  by  it :  uncertainties  of  that 
kind  must  not  now  slacken  his  action  in  doing  the 
best  he  could  for  his  niece  under  actual  conditions. 
"  I  felt  that  there  was  no  time  to  be  lost,  Gwen- 
dolen ; — ^for  a  position  in  a  good  family  where  you 
will  have  some  consideration  is  not  to  be  had  at 
a  moment's  notice.  And  however  long  we  waited 
we  could  hardly  find  one  where  you  would  be  bet- 
ter off  than  at  Bishop  Mompert's.  I  am  known  to 
both  him  and  Mrs  Mompert,  and  that  of  course  is 
an  advantage  for  you.  Our  correspondence  has 
gone  on  favourably ;  but  I  cannot  be  surprised  that 
Mrs  Mompert  wishes  to  see  you  before  making  an 
absolute  engagement.  She  thinks  of  arranging 
for  you  to  meet  her  at  Wancester  when  she  is 
on  her  way  to  town.  I  daresay  you  will  feel  the 
interview  rather  trying  foryou,  my  dear;  but  you 
will  have  a  little  time  to  prepare  your  mind." 


"  Do  you  know  why  she  wants  to  see  me, 
uncle  ?"  said  Gwendolen,  whose  mind  had  quickly- 
gone  over  various  reasons  that  an  imaginary  Mrs 
Mompert  with  three  daughters  might  be  supposed 
to  entertain,  reasons  all  of  a  disagreeable  kind  to 
the  person  presenting  herself  for  inspection. 

The  Eector  smiled,  "Don't  be  alarmed,  my 
dear.  She  would  like  to  have  a  more  precise  idea 
of  you  than  my  report  can  give.  And  a  mother 
is  naturally  scrupulous  about  a  companion  for  her 
daughters.  I  have  told  her  you  are  very  young. 
But  she  herself  exercises  a  close  supervision  over 
her  daughters'  education,  and  that  makes  her  less 
anxious  as  to  age.  She  is  a  woman  of  taste  and 
also  of  strict  principle,  and  objects  to  having  a 
French  person  in  the  house.  I  feel  sure  that  she 
will  think  your  manners  and  accomplishments  as 
good  as  she  is  likely  to  find;  and  over  the  religious 
and  moral  tone  of  the  education  she,  and  indeed 
the  bishop  himself,  will  preside/' 

Gwendolen  dared  not  answer,  but  the  repression 
of  her  decided  dislike  to  the  whole  prospect  sent  an 
unusually  deep  flush  over  her  face  and  neck,  sub- 
siding as  quickly  as  it  came.  Anna,  full  of  tender 
fears,  put  her  little  hand  into  her  cousin's,  and 
Mr  Gascoigne  was  too  kind  a  man  not  to  conceive 
something  of  the  trial  which  this  sudden  change 


must  be  for  a  girl  like  Gwendolen.  Bent  on 
giving  a  cheerful  view  of  things,  he  went  on  in  an 
easy  tone  of  remark,  not  as  if  answering  supposed 
objections — 

"  I  think  so  highly  of  the  position,  that  I  should 
have  been  tempted  to  try  and  get  it  for  Anna,  if 
she  had  been  at  all  likely  to  meet  Mrs  Mompert's 
wants.  It  is  really  a  home,  with  a  continuance 
of  education  in  the  highest  sense  :  'governess'  is 
a  misnomer.  The  bishop's  views  are  of  a  more 
decidedly  Low  Church  colour  than  my  own — he 
is  a  close  friend  of  Lord  Grampian's ;  but  though 
privately  strict,  he  is  not  by  any  means  narrow  in 
public  matters.  Indeed,  he  has  created  as  little 
dislike  in  his  diocese  as  any  bishop  on  the  bench. 
He  has  always  remained  friendly  to  me,  though 
before  his  promotion,  when  he  was  an  incumbent 
of  this  diocese,  we  had  a  little  controversy  about 
the  Bible  Society." 

The  Eector's  words  were  too  pregnant  with 
satisfactory  meaning  to  himself  for  him  to  imagine 
the  effect  they  produced  in  the  mind  of  his  niece. 
"Continuance  of  education" — "bishop's  views" — 
"privately  strict" — "Bible  Society," — it  was  as  if 
he  had  introduced  a  few  snakes  at  large  for  the 
instruction  of  ladies  who  regarded  them  as  all 
aKke  furnished  with  poison -bags,  and  biting  or 


stinging  according  to  convenience.  To  Gwen- 
dolen, already  shrinking  from  the  prospect  opened 
to  her,  such  phrases  came  like  the  growing  heat 
of  a  burning-glass  —  not  at  all  as  the  links  of 
persuasive  reflection  which  they  formed  for  the 
good  uncle.  She  began  desperately  to  seek  an 

"  There  was  another  situation,  I  think,  mamma 
spoke  of?"  she  said,  with  determined  self-mastery. 

"  Yes,"  said  the  Eector,  in  rather  a  depreciatory 
tone;  "but  that  is  in  a  school.  I  should  not 
have  the  same  satisfaction  in  your  taking  that. 
It  would  be  much  harder  work,  you  are  aware, 
and  not  so  good  in  any  other  respect.  Besides, 
you  have  not  an  equal  chance  of  getting  it." 

"  Oh  dear  no,"  said  Mrs  Gascoigne,  "  it  would 
be  much  harder  for  you,  my  dear  —  much  less 
appropriate.  You  might  not  have  a  bedroom  to 
yourself."  And  Gwendolen's  memories  of  school 
suggested  other  particulars  which  forced  her  to 
admit  to  herself  that  this  alternative  would  be  no 
relief.  She  turned  to  her  uncle  again  and  said, 
apparently  in  acceptance  of  his  ideas — 

"  When  is  Mrs  Mompert  likely  to  send  for 

"  That  is  rather  uncertain,  but  she  has  promised 
not  to  entertain  any  other  proposal  till  she  has 


seen  you.  She  has  entered  with  much  feeling  into 
your  position.  It  will  be  within  the  next  fort- 
night, probably.  But  I  must  be  off  now.  I  am 
going  to  let  part  of  my  glebe  uncommonly  well." 

The  Eector  ended  very  cheerfully,  leaving  the 
room  with  the  satisfactory  conviction  that  Gwen- 
dolen was  going  to  adapt  herself  to  circumstances 
like  a  girl  of  good  sense.  Having  spoken  appro- 
priately, he  naturally  supposed  that  the  effects 
would  be  appropriate;  being  accustomed  as  a 
household  and  parish  authority  to  be  asked  to 
"speak  to"  refractory  persons,  with  the  under- 
standing that  the  measure  was  morally  coercive. 

"What  a  stay  Henry  is  to  us  all!"  said  Mrs 
Gascoigne,  when  her  husband  had  left  the  room. 

"He  is  indeed,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  cordially. 
"I  think  cheerfulness  is  a  fortune  in  itself.  I 
wish  I  had  it." 

"And  Eex  is  just  like  him,"  said  Mrs  Gascoigne, 
"  I  must  tell  you  the  comfort  we  have  had  in  a 
letter  from  him.  I  must  read  you  a  little  bit," 
she  added,  taking  the  letter  from  her  pocket,  while 
Anna  looked  rather  frightened — she  did  not  know 
why,  except  that  it  had  been  a  rule  with  her  not 
to  mention  Rex  before  Gwendolen. 

The  proud  mother  ran  her  eyes  over  the  letter, 
seeking  for  sentences  to  read   aloud.     But  ap- 


parently  she  had  found  it  sown  with  what  might 
seem  to  be  closer  allusions  than  she  desired  to  the 
recent  past,  for  she  looked  up,  folding  the  letter, 
and  saying — 

"However,  he  tells  us  that  our  trouble  has 
made  a  man  of  him;  he  sees  a  reason  for  any 
amount  of  work :  he  means  to  get  a  fellowship,  to 
take  pupils,  to  set  one  of  his  brothers  going,  to  be 
everything  that  is  most  remarkable.  The  letter 
is  full  of  fun — ^just  like  him.  He  says,  'Tell 
mother  she  has  put  out  an  advertisement  for  a 
jolly  good  hard-working  son,  in  time  to  hinder  me 
from  taking  ship  ;  and  I  offer  myself  for  the  place.' 
The  letter  came  on  Friday.  I  never  saw  my  hus- 
band so  much  moved  by  anything  since  Eex  was 
born.     It  seemed  a  gain  to  balance  our  loss." 

This  letter,  in  fact,  was  what  had  helped 
both  Mrs  Gascoigne  and  Anna  to  show  Gwen- 
dolen an  unmixed  kindliness ;  and  she  herself 
felt  very  amiably  about  it,  smiling  at  Anna  and 
pinching  her  chin  as  much  as  to  say,  "  Nothing  is 
wrong  with  you  now,  is  it  ? "  She  had  no  gratui- 
tously ill-natured  feeling,  or  egoistic  pleasure  in 
making  men  miserable.  She  only  had  an  intense 
objection  to  their  making  her  miserable. 

But  when  the  talk  turned  on  furniture  for  the 
cottage,  Gwendolen  was  not  roused  to  show  even 


a  languid  interest.  She  thought  that  she  had 
done  as  much  as  could  be  expected  of  her  this 
morning,  and  indeed  felt  at  an  heroic  pitch  in 
keeping  to  herself  the  struggle  that  was  going 
on  within  her.  The  recoil  of  her  mind  from  the 
only  definite  prospect  allowed  her,  was  stronger 
than  even  she  had  imagined  beforehand.  The 
idea  of  presenting  herself  before  Mrs  Mompert  in 
the  first  instance,  to  be  approved  or  disapproved, 
came  as  pressure  on  an  already  painful  bruise: 
even  as  a  governess,  it  appeared,  she  was  to  be 
tested  and  was  liable  to  rejection.  After  she  had 
done  herself  the  violence  to  accept  the  bishop  and 
his  wife,  they  were  still  to  consider  whether  they 
would  accept  her  ;  it  was  at  her  peril  that  she  was 
to  look,  speak,  or  be  silent.  And  even  when  she 
had  entered  on  her  dismal  task  of  self-constraint  in 
the  society  of  three  girls  whom  she  was  bound 
incessantly  to  edify,  the  same  process  of  inspec- 
tion was  to  go  on  :  there  was  always  to  be  Mrs 
Mompert's  supervision ;  always  something  or 
other  would  be  expected  of  her  to  which  she  had 
not  the  slightest  inclination;  and  perhaps  the 
bishop  would  examine  her  on  serious  topics. 
Gwendolen,  lately  used  to  the  social  successes  of  a 
handsome  girl,  whose  lively  venturesomeness  of 
talk  has  the  effect  of  wit,  and  who  six  weeks  be- 


fore  would  have  pitied  tlie  dulness  of  the  bishop 
rather  than  have  been  embarrassed  by  him,  saw 
the  life  before  her  as  an  entrance  into  a  peniten- 
tiary. Wild  thoughts  of  running  away  to  be  an 
actress,  in  spite  of  Klesmer,  came  to  her  with  the 
lure  of  freedom  ;  but  his  words  still  hung  heavily 
on  her  soul ;  they  had  alarmed  her  pride  and  even 
her  maidenly  dignity:  dimly  she  conceived  herself 
getting  amongst  vulgar  people  who  would  treat 
her  with  rude  familiarity  —  odious  men  whose 
grins  and  smirks  would  not  be  seen  through  the 
strong  grating  of  polite  society.  Gwendolen's 
daring  was  not  in  the  least  that  of  the  adventuress; 
the  demand  to  be  held  a  lady  was  in  her  very 
marrow ;  and  when  she  had  dreamed  that  she 
might  be  the  heroine  of  the  gaming-table,  it  was 
with  the  understanding  that  no  one  should  treat 
her  with  the  less  consideration,  or  presume  to 
look  at  her  with  irony  as  Deronda  had  done.  To 
be  protected  and  petted,  and  to  have  her  suscepti- 
bilities consulted  in  every  detail,  had  gone  along 
with  her  food  and  clothing  as  matters  of  course  in 
her  life :  even  without  any  such  warning  as  Kles- 
mer's  she  could  not  have  thought  it  an  attractive 
freedom  to  be  thrown  in  solitary  dependence  on 
the  doubtful  civility  of  strangers.  The  endurance 
of  the  episcopal  penitentiary  was  less  repulsive 


than  that;  though  here  too  she  would  certainly 
never  be  petted  or  have  her  susceptibilities  con- 
sulted. Her  rebellion  against  this  hard  necessity 
which  had  come  just  to  her  of  all  people  in  the 
world — to  her  whom  all  circumstances  had  con- 
curred in  preparing  for  something  quite  different 
— was  exaggerated  instead  of  diminished  as  one 
hour  followed  another,  filled  with  the  imagination 
of  what  she  might  have  expected  in  her  lot  and 
what  it  was  actually  to  be.  The  family  troubles, 
she  thought,'were  easier  for  every  one  than  for  her 
—  even  for  poor  dear  mamma,  because  she  had 
always  used  herself  to  not  enjoying.  As  to  hoping 
that  if  she  went  to  the  Momperts'  and  was  patient 
a  little  while,  things  might  get  better — it  would  be 
stupid  to  entertain  hopes  for  herself  after  all  that 
had  happened :  her  talents,  it  appeared,  would 
never  be  recognised  as  anything  remarkable,  and 
there  was  not  a  single  direction  in  which  pro- 
bability seemed  to  flatter  her  wishes.  Some 
beautiful  girls  who,  like  her,  had  read  romances 
where  even  plain  governesses  are  centres  of  attrac- 
tion and  are  sought  in  marriage,  might  have 
solaced  themselves  a  little  by  transporting  such 
pictures  into  their  own  future ;  but  even  if  Gwen- 
dolen's experience  had  led  her  to  dwell  on  love- 
making  and  marriage  as  her  elysium,  her  heart 

VOL.  II.  I 


was  too  much  oppressed  by  what  was  near  to  her, 
in  both  the  past  and  the  future,  for  her  to  pro- 
ject her  anticipations  very  far  off.  She  had  a 
world-nausea  upon  her,  and  saw  no  reason  all 
through  her  life  why  she  should  wish  to  live.  "No 
religious  view  of  trouble  helped  her :  her  troubles 
had  in  her  opinion  all  been  caused  by  other 
people's  disagreeable  or  wicked  conduct ;  and  there 
was  really  nothing  pleasant  to  be  counted  on  in 
the  world :  that  was  her  feeling  ;  everything  else 
she  had  heard  said  about  trouble  was  mere  phrase- 
making  not  attractive  enough  for  her  to  have 
caught  it  up  and  repeated  it.  As  to  the  sweet- 
ness of  labour  and  fulfilled  claims  ;  the  interest  of 
inward  and  outward  activity ;  the  impersonal  de- 
lights of  life  as  a  perpetual  discovery;  the  dues  of 
courage,  fortitude,  industry,  which  it  is  mere  base- 
ness not  to  pay  towards  the  common  burthen; 
the  supreme  worth  of  the  teacher's  vocation; — 
these,  even  if  they  had  been  eloquently  preached 
to  her,  could  have  been  no  more  than  faintly 
apprehended  doctrines :  the  fact  which  wrought 
upon  her  was  her  invariable  observation  that  for 
a  lady  to  become  a  governess — to  "  take  a  situa- 
tion " — was  to  descend  in  life  and  to  be  treated  at 
best  with  a  compassionate  patronage.  And'poor 
Gwendolen  had  never  dissociated  happiness  from 


personal  pre-eminence  and  4clat.  That  where  these 
threatened  to  forsake  her,  she  should  take  life 
to  be  hardly  worth  the  having,  cannot  make  her 
so  unlike  the  rest  of  us,  men  or  women,  that 
we  should  cast  her  out  of  our  compassion ;  our 
moments  of  temptation  to  a  mean  opinion  of 
things  in  general  being  usually  dependent  on  some 
susceptibility  about  ourselves  and  some  dulness 
to  subjects  which  every  one  else  would  consider 
more  important.  Surely  a  young  creature  is 
pitiable  who  has  the  labyrinth  of  life  before  her 
and  no  clue — to  whom  distrust  in  herself  and  her 
good  fortune  has  come  as  a  sudden  shock,  like  a 
rent  across  the  path  that  she  was  treading  care- 

In  spite  of  her  healthy  frame,  her  irreconcilable 
repugnance  affected  her  even  physically :  she  felt 
a  sort  of  numbness  and  could  set  about  nothing ; 
the  least  urgency,  even  that  she  should  take  her 
meals,  was  an  irritation  to  her ;  the  speech  of  f 
others  on  any  subject  seemed  unreasonable,  because  ) 
it  did  not  include  her  feeling  and  was  an  ignorant 
claim  on  her.  It  was  not  in  her  nature  to  busy 
herself  with  the  fancies  of  suicide  to  which  dis- 
appointed young  people  are  prone :  what  oc- 
cupied and  exasperated  her  was  the  sense  that 
there  was  nothing  for  her  but  to  live  in  a  way  she 


hated.  She  avoided  going  to  the  rectory  again  : 
it  was  too  intolerable  to  have  to  look  and  talk  as 
if  she  were  compliant ;  and  she  could  not  exert 
herself  to  show  interest  about  the  furniture  of 
that  horrible  cottage.  Miss  Merry  was  staying  on 
purpose  to  help,  and  such  people  as  Jocosa  liked 
that  sort  of  thing.  Her  mother  had  to  make  ex- 
cuses for  her  not  appearing,  even  when  Anna  came 
to  see  her.  For  that  calm  which  Gwendolen  had 
promised  herself  to  maintain  had  changed  into 
sick  motivelessness :  she  thought,  "  I  suppose  I 
shall  begin  to  pretend  by-and-by,  but  why  should 
I  do  it  now?" 

Her  mother  watched  her  with  silent  distress ; 
and,  lapsing  into  the  habit  of  indulgent  tenderness, 
she  began  to  think  what  she  imagined  that  Gwen- 
dolen was  thinking,  and  to  wish  that  everything 
should  give  way  to  the  possibility  of  making  her 
darling  less  miserable. 

One  day  when  she  was  in  the  black  and  yellow 
bedroom  and  her  mother  was  lingering  there  under 
the  pretext  of  considering  and  arranging  Gwen- 
dolen's articles  of  dress,  she  suddenly  roused  her- 
self to  fetch  the  casket  which  contained  her  orna- 

"  Mamma,"  she  began,  glancing  over  the  upper 
layer,  "  I  had  forgotten  these  things.     Why  didn't 


you  remind  me  of  them  ?  Do  see  about  getting 
them  sold.  You  will  not  mind  about  parting  with 
them.    You  gave  them  aU  to  me  long  ago." 

She  lifted  the  upper  tray  and  looked  below. 

"  If  we  can  do  without  them,  darling,  I  would 
rather  keep  them  for  you,"  said  Mrs  Davilow, 
seating  herself  beside  Gwendolen  with  a  feeling  of 
relief  that  she  was  beginning  to  talk  about  some- 
thing. The  usual  relation  between  them  had  be- 
come reversed.  It  was  now  the  mother  who  tried 
to  cheer  the  daughter.  "  Why,  how  came  you  to 
put  that  pocket-handkerchief  in  here  ? " 

It  was  the  handkerchief  with  the  comer  torn  off 
which  Gwendolen  had  thrust  in  with  the  turquoise 

"  It  happened  to  be  with  the  necklace — I  was  in 
a  hurry,"  said  Gwendolen,  taking  the  handkerchief 
away  and  putting  it  in  her  pocket.  "  Don't  sell 
the  necklace,  mamma,"  she  added,  a  new  feeling 
having  come  over  her  about  that  rescue  of  it  which 
had  formerly  been  so  offensive. 

"  No,  dear,  no ;  it  was  made  out  of  your  dear 
father's  chain.  And  I  should  prefer  not  selling 
the  other  things.  None  of  them  are  of  any  great 
value.  All  my  best  ornaments  were  taken  from 
me  long  ago." 

Mrs  Davilow  coloured.    She  usually  avoided  any 


reference  to  such  facts  about  Gwendolen's  step- 
father as  that  he  had  carried  off  his  wife's  jewel- 
lery and  disposed  of  it.  After  a  moment's  pause 
she  went  on — 

"  And  these  things  have  not  been  reckoned  on 
for  any  expenses.     Carry  them  with  you." 

"That  would  be  quite  useless,  mamma,"  said 

Gwendolen,  coldly.     "  Governesses  don't  wear  or- 

"naments.    You  had  better  get  me  a  grey  frieze 

livery  and  a  straw  poke,  such  as  my  aunt's  charity 

children  wear." 

"  No,  dear,  no ;  don't  take  that  view  of  it.  I 
feel  sure  the  Momperts  will  like  you  the  better  for 
being  graceful  and  elegant." 

"  I  am  not  at  all  sure  what  the  Momperts  will 
like  me  to  be.  It  is  enough  that  I  am  expected 
to  be  what  they  like,"  said  Gwendolen,  bitterly. 

"  If  there  is  anything  you  would  object  to  less 
— anything  that  could  be  done — instead  of  your 
going  to  the  bishop's,  do  say  so,  Gwendolen. 
Tell  me  what  is  in  your  heart.  I  will  try  for  any- 
thing you  wish,"  said  the  mother,  beseechingly. 
"  Don't  keep  things  away  from  me.  Let  us  bear 
them  together." 

"  Oh  mamma,  there  is  nothing  to  tell.  I  can't  do 
anything  better.  -I  must  think  myself  fortunate  if 
they  will  have  me.     I  shall  get  some  money  for 


you.  That  is  the  only  thing  I  have  to  think  of. 
I  shall  not  spend  any  money  this  year  :  you  will 
have  all  the  eighty  pounds.  I  don't  know  how 
far  that  will  go  in  housekeeping  ;  but  you  need 
not  stitch  your  poor  fingers  to  the  bone,  and  stare 
away  all  the  sight  that  the  tears  have  left  in  your 
dear  eyes." 

Gwendolen  did  not  give  any  caresses  with  her 
words  as  she  had  been  used  to  do.  She  did  not 
even  look  at  her  mother,  but  was  looking  at  the 
turquoise  necklace  as  she  turned  it  over  her 

"  Bless  you  for  your  tenderness,  my  good  dar- 
ling ! "  said  Mrs  Davilow,  with  tears  in  her  eyes. 
"Don't  despair  because  there  are  clouds  now. 
You  are  so  young.  There  may  be  great  happiness 
in  store  for  you  yet." 

"  I  don't  see  any  reason  for  expecting  it, 
mamma,"  said  Gwendolen,  in  a  hard  tone ;  and 
Mrs  Davilow  was  silent,  thinking  as  she  had  often 
thought  before — "  What  did  happen  between  her 
and  Mr  Grandcourt?" 

"I  will  keep  this  necklace,  mamma,"  said 
Gwendolen,  laying  it  apart  and  then  closing  the 
casket.  "  But  do  get  the  other  things  sold  even  if 
they  will  not  bring  much.  Ask  my  uncle  what  to 
do  with  them.   I  shall  certainly  not  use  them  again. 


I  am  going  to  take  the  veil.  I  wonder  if  all 
the  poor  wretches  who  have  ever  taken  it  felt 
as  I  do." 

"Don't  exaggerate  evils,  dear." 

"  How  can  any  one  know  that  I  exaggerate,  when 
I  am  speaking  of  my  own  feeling  ?  I  did  not  say 
what  any  one  else  felt." 

She  took  out  the  torn  handkerchief  from  her 
pocket  again,  and  wrapt  it  deliberately  round  the 
necklace.  Mrs  Davilow  observed  the  action  with 
some  surprise,  but  the  tone  of  the  last  words  dis- 
couraged her  from  asking  any  question. 

The  "  feeling  "  Gwendolen  spoke  of  with  an  air 
of  tragedy  was  not  to  be  explained  by  the  mere 
fact  that  she  was  going  to  be  a  governess :  she 
was  possessed  by  a  spirit  of  general  disappoint- 
ment. It  was  not  simply  that  she  had  a  distaste 
for  what  she  was  called  on  to  do  :  the  distaste 
spread  itself  over  the  world  outside  her  peniten- 
tiary, since  she  saw  nothing  very  pleasant  in  it 
that  seemed  attainable  by  her  even  if  she  were 
free.  Naturally  her  grievances  did  not  seem  to 
her  smaller  than  some  of  her  male  contemporaries 
held  theirs  to  be  when  they  felt  a  profession  too 
narrow  for  their  powers,  and  had  an  a  priori  convic- 
tion that  it  was  not  worth  while  to  put  forth  their 
latent  abilities.  Because  her  education  had  been 
less  expensive  than  theirs  it  did  not  follow  that 


she  should  have  wider  emotions  or  a  keener  intel- 
lectual vision.  Her  griefs  were  feminine ;  but  to 
her  as  a  woman  they  were  not  the  less  hard  to 
bear,  and  she  felt  an  equal  right  to  the  Prome- 
thean tone. 

But  the  movement  of  mind  which  led  her  to 
keep  the  necklace,  to  fold  it  up  in  the  handker- 
chief, and  rise  to  put  it  in  her  tiAcessaire,  where 
she  had  first  placed  it  when  it  had  been  returned 
to  her,  was  more  peculiar,  and  what  would  be 
called  less  reasonable.  It  came  from  that  streak 
of  superstition  in  her  which  attached  itself  both 
to  her  confidence  and  her  terror — a  superstition 
which  lingers  in  an  intense  personality  even  in 
spite  of  theory  and  science ;  any  dread  or  hope  for 
self  being  stronger  than  all  reasons  for  or  against 
it.  Why  she  should  suddenly  determine  not  to 
part  with  the  necklace  was  not  much  clearer  to 
her  than  why  she  should  sometimes  have  been 
frightened  to  find  herself  in  the  fields  alone :  she 
had  a  confused  state  of  emotion  about  Deronda — 
was  it  wounded  pride  and  resentment,  or  a  certain 
awe  and  exceptional  trust  ?  It  was  something 
vague  and  yet  mastering,  which  impelled  her  to 
this  action  about  the  necklace.  There  is  a  great 
deal  of  unmapped  country  within  us  which  would 
have  to  be  taken  into  account  in  an  explanation 
of  our  gusts  and  storms. 



How  trace  the  why  and  wherefore  in  a  mind  reduced  to  the  barrenness 
of  a  fastidious  egoism,  in  which  all  direct  desires  are  dulled,  and  have 
dwindled  from  motives  into  a  vacillating  expectation  of  motives  :  a  mind 
made  up  of  moods,  where  a  fitful  impulse  springs  here  and  there  con- 
spicuously rank  amid  the  general  weediness  ?  'Tis  a  condition  apt  to  befall 
a  life  too  much  at  large,  unmoulded  by  the  pressure  of  obligation.  Nam 
(kteriores  omnes  sumus  Ucentice,  saith  Terence ;  or,  as  a  more  familiar 
tongue  might  deliver  it,  '  As  you  like  '  is  a  bad  finger-post. 

Potentates  make  known  their  intentions  and 
affect  the  funds  at  a  small  expense  of  words.  So, 
when  Grandcourt,  after  learning  that  Gwendolen 
had  left  Leubronn,  incidentally  pronounced  that 
resort  of  fashion  a  beastly  hole  worse  than  Baden, 
the  remark  was  conclusive  to  Mr  Lush  that  his 
patron  intended  straightway  to  return  to  Diplow. 
The  execution  was  sure  to  be  slower  than  the  in- 
tention, and  in  fact  Grandcourt  did  loiter  through 
the  next  day  without  giving  any  distinct  orders 
about  departure — perhaps  because  he  discerned 
that  Lush  was  expecting  them :  he  lingered  over 
his  toilet,  and  certainly  came  down  with  a  faded 


aspect  of  perfect  distinction  which  made  fresh 
complexions,  and  hands  with  the  blood  in  them, 
seem  signs  of  raw  vulgarity  ;  he  lingered  on  the 
terrace,  in  the  gambHng-rooms,  in  the  reading- 
room,  occupying  himself  in  being  indifferent  to 
everybody  and  everything  around  him.  When 
he  met  Lady  Mallinger,  however,  he  took  some 
trouble — raised  his  hat,  paused,  and  proved  that 
he  listened  to  her  recommendation  of  the  waters 
by  replying,  "  Yes ;  I  heard  somebody  say  how 
providential  it  was  that  there  always  happened  to 
be  springs  at  gambling  places." 

"  Oh,  that  was  a  joke,"  said  innocent  Lady  Mal- 
linger, misled  by  Grandcourt's  languid  seriousness, 
"  in  imitation  of  the  old  one  about  the  towns  and 
the  rivers,  you  know." 

"Ah,  perhaps,"  said  Grandcourt,  without  change 
of  expression.  Lady  Mallinger  thought  this  worth 
telling  to  Sir  Hugo,  who  said,  "  Oh  my  dear,  he  is 
not  a  fool.  You  must  not  suppose  that  he  can't 
see  a  joke.  He  can  play  his  cards  as  well  as  most 
of  us." 

"  He  has  never  seemed  to  me  a  very  sensible 
man,"  said  Lady  Mallinger,  in  excuse  of  herself. 
She  had  a  secret  objection  to  meeting  Grandcourt, 
who  was  little  else  to  her  than  a  large  living  sign 
of  what  she  felt  to  be  her  failure  as  a  wife — the 


not  having  presented  Sir  Hugo  with  a  son.  Her 
constant  reflection  was  that  her  husband  might 
fairly  regret  his  choice,  and  if  he  had  not  been 
very  good  might  have  treated  her  with  some 
roughness  in  consequence,  gentlemen  naturally 
disliking  to  be  disappointed. 

Deronda,  too,  had  a  recognition  from  Grand- 
court,  for  which  he  was  not  grateful,  though  he 
took  care  to  return  it  with  perfect  civility.  No 
reasoning  as  to  the  foundations  of  custom  could  do 
away  with  the  early-rooted  feeling  that  his  birth 
had  been  attended  with  injury  for  which  his  father 
was  to  blame ;  and  seeing  that  but  for  this  injury 
Grand  court's  prospect  might  have  been  his,  he 
was  proudly  resolute  not  to  behave  in  any  way 
that  might  be  interpreted  into  irritation  on  that 
score.  He  saw  a  very  easy  descent  into  mean 
unreasoning  rancour  and  triumph  in  others'  frus- 
tration ;  and  being  determined  not  to  go  down  that ' 
ugly  pit,  he  turned  his  back  on  it,  clinging  to  the 
kindlier  affections  within  him  as  a  possession. 
Pride  certainly  helped  him  well — the  pride  of  not 
recognising  a  disadvantage  for  one's  self  which 
vulgar  minds  are  disposed  to  exaggerate,  such  as 
the  shabby  equipage  of  poverty:  he  would  not 
have  a  man  like  Grandcourt  suppose  himself 
envied  by  him.     But  there  is  no  guarding  against 


interpretation.  Grandcourt  did  believe  that  De- 
ronda,  poor  devil,  who  he  had  no  doubt  was  his 
cousin  by  the  father's  side,  inwardly  winced  under 
their  mutual  position  ;  wherefore  the  presence  of 
that  less  lucky  person  was  more  agreeable  to  him 
than  it  would  otherwise  have  been.  An  imaginary 
envy,  the  idea  that  others  feel  their  comparative 
deficiency,  is  the  ordinary  cortege  of  egoism ;  and 
his  pet  dogs  were  not  the  only  beings  that  Grand- 
court  liked  to  feel  his  power  over  in  making  them 
jealous.  Hence  he  was  civil  enough  to  exchange 
several  words  with  Deronda  on  the  terrace  about 
the  hunting  round  Diplow,  and  even  said,  "  You 
had  better  come  over  for  a  run  or  two  when  the 
season  begins." 

Lush,  not  displeased  with  delay,  amused  him- 
self very  well,  partly  in  gossiping  with  Sir  Hugo 
and  in  answering  his  questions  about  Grandcourt's 
•afiairs  so  far  as  they  might  affect  his  willingness 
to  part  with  his  interest  in  Diplow.  Also  about 
Grandcourt's  personal  entanglements,  the  baronet 
knew  enough  already  for  Lush  to  feel  released 
from  silence  on  a  sunny  autumn  day,  when  there 
was  nothing  more  agreeable  to  do  in  lounging 
promenades  than  to  speak  freely  of  a  tyrannous 
patron  behind  his  back.  Sir  Hugo  willingly  in- 
clined his  ear  to  a  little  good-humoured  scandal^ 


whicli  he  was  fond  of  calling  traits  de  mceurs ;  but 
he  was  strict  in  keeping  such  communications 
from  hearers  who  might  take  them  too  seriously. 
Whatever  knowledge  he  had  of  his  nephew's 
secrets,  he  had  never  spoken  of  it  to  Deronda,  who 
considered  Grandcourt  a  pale-blooded  mortal,  but 
was  far  from  wishing  to  hear  how  the  red  cor- 
puscles had  been  washed  out  of  him.  It  was 
Lush's  policy  and  inclination  to  gratify  everybody 
when  he  had  no  reason  to  the  contrary;  and  the 
baronet  always  treated  him  well,  as  one  of  those 
easy -handled  personages  who,  frequenting  the 
society  of  gentlemen,  without  being  exactly  gen- 
tlemen themselves,  can  be  the  more  serviceable, 
like  the  second-best  articles  of  our  wardrobe, 
which  we  use  with  a  comfortable  freedom  from 

"Well,  you  will  let  me  know  the  turn  of 
events,'*  said  Sir  Hugo,  "  if  this  marriage  seems 
likely  to  come  off  after  all,  or  if  anything  else 
happens  to  make  the  want  of  money  more  press- 
ing. My  plan  would  be  much  better  for  him 
than  burthening  Eyelands." 

"  That's  true,"  said  Lush,  "  only  it  must  not  be 
urged  on  him — just  placed  in  his  way  that  the 
scent  may  tickle  him.  Grandcourt  is  not  a  man 
to  be  always  led  by  what  makes  for  his  own 


interest;  especially  if  you  let  him  see  that  it 
makes  for  your  interest  too.  I'm  attached  to  him, 
of  course.  I've  given  up  everything  else  for  the 
sake  of  keeping  by  him,  and  it  has  lasted  a  good 
fifteen  years  now.  He  would  not  easily  get  any 
one  else  to  fill  my  place.  He's  a  peculiar  char- 
acter, is  Henleigh  Grandcourt,  and  it  has  been 
growing  on  him  of  late  years.  However,  I'm  of  a 
constant  disposition,  and  I've  been  a  sort  of  guar- 
dian to  him  since  he  was  twenty :  an  uncommonly 
fascinating  fellow  he  was  then,  to  be  sure — and 
could  be  now,  if  he  liked.  I'm  attached  to  him ; 
and  it  would  be  a  good  deal  worse  for  him  if  he 
missed  me  at  his  elbow." 

Sir  Hugo  did  not  think  it  needful  to  express 
his  sympathy  or  even  assent,  and  perhaps  Lush 
himself  did  not  expect  this  sketch  of  his  motives 
to  be  taken  as  exact.  But  how  can  a  man  avoid 
himself  as  a  subject  in  conversation?  And  he 
must  make  some  sort  of  decent  toilet  in  words, 
as  in  cloth  and  linen.  Lush's  listener  was  not 
severe :  a  member  of  Parliament  could  allow  for 
the  necessities  of  verbal  toilet ;  and  the  dialogue 
went  on  without  any  change  of  mutual  estimate. 

However,  Lush's  easy  prospect  of  indefinite 
procrastination  was  cut  off  the  next  morning  by 
Grandcourt's  saluting  him  with  the  question — 


"  Are  you  making  all  the  arrangements  for  our 
starting  by  the  Paris  train  ? " 

"  I  didn't  know  you  meant  to  start,"  said  Lush, 
not  exactly  taken  by  surprise. 

"You  might  have  known,"  said  Grandcourt, 
looking  at  the  burnt  length  of  his  cigar,  and  speak- 
ing in  that  lowered  tone  which  was  usual  with 
him  when  he  meant  to  express  disgust  and  be 
peremptory.  "  Just  see  to  everything,  will  you  ? 
and  mind  no  brute  gets  into  the  same  carriage 
with  us.    And  leave  my  P. P.O.  at  the  Mallingers." 

In  consequence  they  were  at  Paris  the  next  day; 
but  here  Lush  was  gratified  by  the  proposal  or 
command  that  he  should  go  straight  on  to  Diplow 
and  see  that  everything  was  right,  while  Grand- 
court  and  the  valet  remained  behind ;  and  it  was 
not  until  several  days  later  that  Lush  received  the 
telegram  ordering  the  carriage  to  the  Wancester 

He  had  used  the  interim  actively,  not  only  in 
carrjdng  out  Grandcourt's  orders  about  the  stud 
and  household,  but  in  learning  all  he  could  of 
Gwendolen,  and  how  things  were  going  on  at 
Offendene.  What  was  the  probable  effect  that 
the  news  of  the  family  misfortunes  would  have 
on  Grandcourt's  fitful  obstinacy  he  felt  to  be  quite 
incalculable.     So  far  as  the  girl's  poverty  might 


be  an  argument  that  she  would  accept  an  offer 
from  him  now  in  spite  of  any  previous  coyness, 
it  might  remove  that  bitter  objection  to  risk  a 
repulse  which  Lush  divined  to  be  one  of  Grand- 
court's  deterring  motives ;  on  the  other  hand,  the 
certainty  of  acceptance  was  just  "the  sort  of 
thing  "  to  make  him  lapse  hither  and  thither  with 
no  more  apparent  will  than  a  moth.  Lush  had 
had  his  patron  under  close  observation  for  many 
years,  and  knew  him  perhaps  better  than  he  knew 
any  other  subject ;  but  to  know  Grandcourt  was 
to  doubt  what  he  would  do  in  any  particular  case. 
It  might  happen  that  he  would  behave  with  an 
apparent  magnanimity,  like  the  hero  of  a  modern 
French  drama,  whose  sudden  start  into  moral 
splendour  after  much  lying  and  meanness,  leaves 
you  little  confidence  as  to  any  part  of  his  career 
that  may  follow  the  fall  of  the  curtain.  Indeed, 
what  attitude  would  have  been  more  honourable 
for  a  final  scene  than  that  of  declining  to  seek  an 
heiress  for  her  money,  and  determining  to  marry 
the  attractive  girl  who  had  none  1  But  Lush  had 
some  general  certainties  about  Grandcourt,  and 
one  was,  that  of  all  inward  movements  those  of 
generosity  were  the  least  likely  to  occur  in  him. 
Of  what  use,  however,  is  a  general  certainty  that 
an  insect  will  not  walk  with  his  head  hindmost, 
VOL.  II.  K 


when  what  you  need  to  know  is  the  play  of  in- 
ward stimulus  that  sends  him  hither  and  thither 
in  a  network  of  possible  paths?  Thus  Lush 
was  much  at  fault  as  to  the  probable  issue  be- 
tween Grandcourt  and  Gwendolen,  when  what  he 
desired  was  a  perfect  confidence  that  they  would 
never  be  married.  He  would  have  consented 
willingly  that  Grandcourt  should  marry  an  heiress, 
or  that  he  should  marry  Mrs  Glasher :  in  the  one 
match  there  would  have  been  the  immediate 
abundance  that  prospective  heirship  could  not 
supply,  in  the  other  there  would  have  been  the 
security  of  the  wife's  gratitude,  for  Lush  had 
always  been  Mrs  Glasher's  friend;  and  that  the 
future  Mrs  Grandcourt  should  not  be  socially 
received  could  not  affect  his  private  comfort.  He 
would  not  have  minded,  either,  that  there  should 
be  no  marriage  in  question  at  all;  but  he  felt 
himself  justified  in  doing  his  utmost  to  hinder  a 
marriage  with  a  girl  who  was  likely  to  bring 
nothing  but  trouble  to  her  husband  —  not  to 
speak  of  annoyance  if  not  ultimate  injury  to  her 
husband's  old  companion,  whose  future  Mr  Lush 
earnestly  wished  to  make  as  easy  as  possible,  con- 
sidering that  he  had  well  deserved  such  compensa- 
tion for  leading  a  dog's  life,  though  that  of  a  dog 
who  enjoyed  many  tastes  undisturbed,  and  who 


profited  by  a  large  establishment.  He  wished  for 
himself  what  he  felt  to  be  good,  and  was  not 
conscious  of  wishing  harm  to  any  one  else ;  unless 
perhaps  it  were  just  now  a  little  harm  to  the  in- 
convenient and  impertinent  Gwendolen.  But  the 
easiest-humoured  amateur  of  luxury  and  music, 
the  toad-eater  the  least  liable  to  nausea,  must  be 
expected  to  have  his  susceptibilities.  And  Mr 
Lush  was  accustomed  to  be  treated  by  the  world 
in  general  as  an  apt,  agreeable  fellow :  he  had 
not  made  up  his  mind  to  be  insulted  by  more 
than  one  person. 

With  this  imperfect  preparation  of  a  war  policy. 
Lush  was  awaiting  Grandcourt's  arrival,  doing 
little  more  than  wondering  how  the  campaign 
would  begin.  The  first  day  Grandcourt  was 
much  occupied  with  the  stables,  and  amongst 
other  things  he  ordered  a  groom  to  put  a  side- 
saddle on  Criterion  and  let  him  review  the  horse's 
paces.  This  marked  indication  of  purpose  set 
Lush  on  considering  over  again  whether  he  should 
incur  the  ticklish  consequences  of  speaking  first, 
while  he  was  still  sure  that  no  compromisi^ig  step 
had  been  taken ;  and  he  rose  the  next  morning 
almost  resolved  that  if  Grandcourt  seemed  in  as 
good  a  humour  as  yesterday  and  entered  at  all 
into  talk,  he  would  let  drop  the  interesting  facts 


about  Gwendolen  and  her  family,  just  to  see  how 
they  would  work,  and  to  get  some  guidance.  But 
Grandcourt  did  not  enter  into  talk,  and  in  answer 
to  a  question  even  about  his  own  convenience,  no 
fish  could  have  maintained  a  more  unwinking 
silence.  After  he  had  read  his  letters  he  gave 
various  orders  to  be  executed  or  transmitted  by 
Lush,  and  then  thrust  his  shoulders  towards  that 
useful  person,  who  accordingly  rose  to  leave  the 
room.  But  before  he  was  out  of  the  door, 
Grandcourt  turned  his  head  slightly  and  gave 
a  broken  languid  "  Oh.*' 

"What  is  it?"  said  Lush,  who,  it  must  have 
been  observed,  did  not  take  his  dusty  puddings 
with  a  respectful  air. 

"  Shut  the  door,  will  you  ?  I  can't  speak  into 
the  corridor." 

Lush  closed  the  door,  came  forward,  and  chose 
to  sit  down. 

After  a  little  pause  Grandcourt  said,  "  Is  Miss 
Harleth  at  Offendene?"  He  was  quite  certain 
that  Lush  had  made  it  his  business  to  inquire 
about  her,  and  he  had  some  pleasure  in  thinking 
that  Lush  did  not  want  him  to  inquire. 

"Well,  I  hardly  know,"  said  Lush,  carelessly. 
"The  family's  utterly  done  up.  They  and  the 
Gascoignes  too  have  lost  all  their  money.     It's 


owing  to  some  rascally  banking  business.  The 
poor  mother  hasn't  a  sou,  it  seems.  She  and 
the  girls  have  to  huddle  themselves  into  a  little 
cottage  like  a  labourer's." 

"Don't  lie  to  me,  if  you  please,"  said  Grand- 
court,  in  his  lowest  audible  tone.  "It's  not 
amusing,  and  it  answers  no  other  purpose." 

'*  What  do  you  mean  ? "  said  Lush,  more  nettled 
than  was-  common  with  him — the  prospect  before 
him  being  more  than  commonly  disturbing. 

"  Just  tell  me  the  truth,  will  you  ? " 

"  It's  no  invention  of  mine.  I  have  heard  the 
story  from  several — Bazley,  Brackenshaw's  man, 
for  one.    He  is  getting  a  new  tenant  for  Offendene." 

"  I  don't  mean  that.  Is  Miss  Harleth  there,  or 
is  she  not  ? "  said  Grandcourt,  in  his  former  tone. 

"  Upon  my  soul,  I  can't  tell,"  said  Lush,  rather 
sulkily.  "  She  may  have  left  yesterday.  I  heard 
she  had  taken  a  situation  as  governess  ;  she  may 
be  gone  to  it  for  what  I  know.  But  if  you  want- 
ed to  see  her,  no  doubt  the  mother  would  send 
for  her  back."  This  sneer  slipped  off  his  tongue 
without  strict  intention. 

"Send  Hutchins  to  inquire  whether  she  will 
be  there  to-morrow." 

Lush  did  not  move.  Like  many  persons  who 
have  thought  over  beforehand  what  they  shall  say 


in  given  cases,  lie  was  impelled  by  an  unexpected 
irritation  to  say  some  of  those  prearranged  things 
before  the  cases  were  given.  Grandcourt,  in  fact, 
was  likely  to  get  into  a  scrape  so  tremendous,  that 
it  was  impossible  to  let  him  take  the  first  step 
towards  it  without  remonstrance.  Lush  retained 
enough  caution  to  use  a  tone  of  rational  friendli- 
ness ;  still  he  felt  his  own  value  to  his.  patron,  and 
was  prepared  to  be  daring. 

"It  would  be  as  well  for  you  to  remember, 
Grandcourt,  that  you  are  coming  under  closer  fire 
now.  There  can  be  none  of  the  ordinary  flirting 
done,  which  may  mean  everything  or  nothing. 
You  must  make  up  your  mind  whether  you  wish 
to  be  accepted;  and  more  than  that,  how  you 
would  like  being  refused.  Either  one  or  the  other. 
You  can't  be  philandering  after  her  again  for  six 

Grandcourt  said  nothing,  but  pressed  the  news- 
paper down  on  his  knees  and  began  to  light  another 
cigar.  Lush  took  this  as  a  sign  that  he  was 
willing  to  listen,  and  was  the  more  bent  on  using 
the  opportunity ;  he  wanted  if  possible  to  find 
out  which  would  be  the  more  potent  cause  of  hesi- 
tation— probable  acceptance  or  probable  refusal. 

"  Everything  has  a  more  serious  look  now  than 
it  had  before.     There  is  her  family  to  be  provided 


for.  You  could  not  let  your  wife's  mother  live  in 
beggary.  It  will  be  a  confoundedly  hampering 
affair.  Marriage  will  pin  you  down  in  a  way  you 
haven*t  been  used  to  ;  and  in  point  of  money  you 
have  not  too  much  elbow-room.  And  after  all, 
what  will  you  get  by  it  ?  You  are  master  over 
your  estates,  present  or  future,  as  far  as  choosing 
your  heir  goes ;  it's  a  pity  to  go  on  encumbering 
them  for  a  mere  whim,  which  you  may  repent  of 
in  a  twelvemonth.  I  should  be  sorry  to  see  you 
making  a  mess  of  your  life  in  that  way.  If  there 
were  anything  solid  to  be  gained  by  the  marriage, 
that  would  be  a  different  affair." 

Lush's  tone  had  gradually  become  more  and 
more  unctuous  in  its  friendliness  of  remonstrance, 
and  he  was  almost  in  danger  of  forgetting  that  he 
was  merely  gambling  in  argument.  When  he  left 
off,  Grandcourt  took  his  cigar  out  of  his  mouth, 
and  looking  steadily  at  the  moist  end  while  he 
adjusted  the  leaf  with  his  delicate  finger-tips,  said, 

"  I  knew  before  that  you  had  an  objection  to 
my  marrying  Miss  Harleth."  Here  he  made  a 
little  pause,  before  he  continued,  "But  I  never 
considered  that  a  reason  against  it." 

"I  never  supposed  you  did,"  answered  Lush, 
not  unctuously,  but  drily.  "It  was  not  that  I 
urged  as  a  reason.      I  should  have  thought  it 


might  have  been  a  reason  against  it,  after  all  your 
experience,  that  you  would  be  acting  like  the  hero 
of  a  ballad,  and  making  yourself  absurd — and  all 
for  what  ?  You  know  you  couldn't  make  up  your 
mind  before.  It's  impossible  you  can  care  much 
about  her.  And  as  for  the  tricks  she  is  likely  to 
play,  you  may  judge  of  that  from  what  you  heard 
at  Leubronn.  However,  what  I  wished  to  point 
out  to  you  was,  that  there  can  be  no  shilly-shally 

"  Perfectly,"  said  Grandcourt,  looking  round  at 
Lush  and  fixing  him  with  narrow  eyes ;  "  I  don't 
intend  that  there  should  be.  I  daresay  it's  dis- 
agreeable to  you.  But  if  you  suppose  I  care  a 
damn  for  that,  you  are  most  stupendously  mis- 

"  Oh,  well,"  said  Lush,  rising  with  his  hands  in 
his  pockets,  and  feeling  some  latent  venom  still 
within  him,  "  if  you  have  made  up  your  mind ! — 
only  there's  another  aspect  of  the  affair.  I  have 
been  speaking  on  the  supposition  that  it  was 
absolutely  certain  she  would  accept  you,  and  that 
destitution  would  have  no  choice.  But  I  am  not 
so  sure  that  the  young  lady  is  to  be  counted  on. 
She  is  kittle  cattle  to  shoe,  I  think.  And  she  had 
her  reasons  for  running  away  before."  Lush  had 
moved  a  step  or  two  till  he  stood  nearly  in  front 


of  Grandcourt,  though  at  some  distance  from  him. 
He  did  not  feel  himself  much  restrained  by  con- 
sequences, being  aware  that  the  only  strong  hold 
he  had  on  his  present  position  was  his  serviceable- 
ness  ;  and  even  after  a  quarrel,  the  want  of  him 
was  likely  sooner  or  later  to  recur.  He  foresaw 
that  Gwendolen  would  cause  him  to  be  ousted  for 
a  time,  and  his  temper  at  this  moment  urged  him 
to  risk  a  quarrel. 

"  She  had  her  reasons,"  he  repeated,  more  sig- 

"I  had  come  to  that  conclusion  before,"  said 
Grandcourt,  with  contemptuous  irony. 

"  Yes,  but  I  hardly  think  you  know  what  her 
reasons  were." 

"  You  do,  apparently,"  said  Grandcourt,  not 
betraying  by  so  much  as  an  eyelash  that  he  cared 
for  the  reasons. 

"  Yes,  and  you  had  better  know  too,  that  you 
may  judge  of  the  influence  you  have  over  her,  if 
she  swallows  her  reasons  and  accepts  you.  For 
my  own  part,  I  would  take  odds  against  it.  She 
saw  Lydia  in  Cardell  Chase  and  heard  the  whole 

Grandcourt  made  no  immediate  answer,  and 
only  went  on  smoking.  He  was  so  long  before 
he  spoke,  that  Lush  moved  about  and  looked  out 


of  the  windows,  unwilling  to  go  away  without 
seeing  some  effect  of  his  daring  move.  He  had 
expected  that  Grandcourt  would  tax  him  with 
having  contrived  the  affair,  since  Mrs  Glasher 
was  then  living  at  Gadsmere  a  hundred  miles 
off,  and  he  was  prepared  to  admit  the  fact :  what 
he  cared  about  was  that  Grandcourt  should  be 
staggered  by  the  sense  that  his  intended  advances 
must  be  made  to  a  girl  who  had  that  knowledge 
in  her  mind  and  had  been  scared  by  it.  At 
length  Grandcourt,  seeing  Lush  turn  towards  him, 
looked  at  him  again  and  said,  contemptuously, 

Here  certainly  was  a  "mate"  in  answer  to 
Lush's  "  check ; "  and  though  his  exasperation  with 
Grandcourt  was  perhaps  stronger  than  it  had  ever 
been  before,  it  would  have  been  mere  idiocy  to 
act  as  if  any  further  move  could  be  useful.  He 
gave  a  slight  shrug  with  one  shoulder  and  was 
going  to  walk  away,  when  Grandcourt,  turning  on 
his  seat  towards  the  table,  said,  as  quietly  as  if 
nothing  had  occurred,  "Oblige  me  by  pushing 
that  pen  and  paper  here,  will  you  ? " 

No  thunderous,  bulljdng  superior  could  have 
exercised  the  imperious  spell  that  Grandcourt 
did.  Why,  instead  of  being  obeyed,  he  had  never 
been  told  to  go  to  a  warmer  place,  was  perhaps  a 


mystery  to  several  who  found  themselves  obeying 
him.  The  pen  and  paper  were  pushed  to  him, 
and  as  he  took  them  he  said,  "  Just  wait  for  this 

He  scrawled  with  ease,  and  the  brief  note  was 
quickly  addressed.  "  Let  Hutchins  go  with  it  at 
once,  will  you?"  said  Grandcourt,  pushing  the 
letter  away  from  him. 

As  Lush  had  expected,  it  was  addressed  to  Miss 
Harleth,  Ofifendene.  When  his  irritation  had 
cooled  down  he  was  glad  there  had  been  no 
explosive  quarrel ;  but  he  felt  sure  that  there  was 
a  notch  made  against  him,  and  that  somehow  or 
other  he  was  intended  to  pay.  It  was  also  clear 
to  him  that  the  immediate  effect  of  his  revelation 
had  been  to  harden  Grandcourt's  previous  deter- 
mination. But  as  to  the  particular  movements 
which  made  this  process  in  his  baffling  mind, 
Lush  could  only  toss  up  his  chin  in  despair  of 
a  theory. 



He  brings  white  asses  laden  with  the  freight 
Of  Tyrian  vessels,  purple,  gold,  and  balm. 
To  bribe  my  will:  I'll  bid  them  chase  him  forth. 
Nor  let  him  breathe  the  taint  of  his  surmise 
On  my  secure  resolve. 

Ay,  'tis  secure ; 
And  therefore  let  him  come  to  spread  his  freight. 
For  firmness  hath  its  appetite  and  craves 
The  stronger  lure,  more  strongly  to  resist ; 
Would  know  the  touch  of  gold  to  fling  it  off; 
Scent  wine  to  feel  its  lip  the  soberer ; 
Behold  soft  byssus,  ivory,  and  plumes 
To  say,  "They're  fair,  but  I  wiU  none  of  them," 
And  flout  Enticement  in  the  very  face. 

Mr  Gascoigne  one  day  came  to  Offendene  with 
what  he  felt  to  be  the  satisfactory  news  that 
Mrs  Mompert  had  fixed  Tuesday  in  the  follow- 
ing week  for  her  interview  with  Gwendolen  at 
Wancester.  He  said  nothing  of  his  having  inci- 
dentally heard  that  Mr  Grandcourt  had  returned 
to  Diplow ;  knowing  no  more  than  she  did  that 
Leubronn  had  been  the  goal  of  her  admirer's 
journeying,  and  feeling  that  it  would  be  unkind 


uselessly  to  revive  the  memory  of  a  brilliant 
prospect  under  the  present  reverses.  In  his  secret 
soul  he  thought  of  his  niece's  unintelligible  ca- 
price with  regret,  but  he  vindicated  her  to  himself 
by  considering  that  Grandcourt  had  been  the  first 
to  behave  oddly,  in  suddenly  walking  away  when 
there  had  been  the  best  opportunity  for  crowning 
his  marked  attentions.  The  Eector's  practical 
judgment  told-  him  that  his  chief  duty  to  his  niece 
now  was  to  encourage  her  resolutely  to  face  the 
change  in  her  lot,  since  there  was  no  manifest 
promise  of  any  event  that  would  avert  it. 

"  You  will  find  an  interest  in  varied  experience, 
my  dear,  and  I  have  no  doubt  you  will  be  a  more 
valuable  woman  for  having  sustained  such  a  part 
as  you  are  called  to." 

"  I  cannot  pretend  to  believe  that  I  shall  like 
it,"  said  Gwendolen,  for  the  first  time  showing  her 
uncle  some  petulance.  "But  I  am  quite  aware 
that  I  am  obliged  to  bear  it." 

She  remembered  having  submitted  to  his  ad- 
monition on  a  different  occasion,  when  she  was 
expected  to  like  a  very  different  prospect. 

"  And  your  good  sense  will  teach  you  to  behave 
suitably  under  it,"  said  Mr  Gascoigne,  with  a 
shade  more  gravity.  *'  I  feel  sure  that  Mrs  Mom- 
pert  will  be  pleased  with  you.     You  will  know 


how  to  conduct  yourself  to  a  woman  who  holds  in 
all  senses  the  relation  of  superior  to  you.  This 
trouble  has  come  on  you  young,  but  that  makes  it 
in  some  respects  easier,  and  there  is  benefit  in  all 
chastisement  if  we  adjust  our  minds  to  it." 

This  was  precisely  what  Gwendolen  was  unable 
to  do;  and  after  her  uncle  was  gone,  the  bitter  tears, 
which  had  rarely  come  during  the  late  trouble,  rose 
and  fell  slowly  as  she  sat  alone.  Her  heart  denied 
that  the  trouble  was  easier  because  she  was  young. 
When  was  she  to  have  any  happiness,  if  it  did 
not  come  while  she  was  young?  Not  that  her 
visions  of  possible  happiness  for  herself  were  as 
unmixed  with  necessary  evil  as  they  used  to  be — 
not  that  she  could  still  imagine  herself  plucking 
the  fruits  of  life  without  suspicion  of  their  core. 
But  this  general  disenchantment  with  the  world — 
nay,  with  herself,  since  it  appeared  that  she  was 
not  made  for  easy  pre-eminence — only  intensi- 
fied her  sense  of  forlornness :  it  was  a  visibly 
sterile  distance  enclosing  the  dreary  path  at  her 
feet,  in  which  she  had  no  courage  to  tread.  She 
was  in  that  first  crisis  of  passionate  youthful  re- 
bellion against  what  is  not  fitly  called  pain,  but 
rather  the  absence  of  joy — that  first  rage  of  dis- 
appointment in  life's  morning,  which  we  whom  the 
years  have  subdued  are  apt  to  remember  but  dimly 


as  part  of  our  own  experience,  and  so  to  be  in- 
tolerant of  its  self-enclosed  unreasonableness  and 
impiety.  What  passion  seems  more  absurd,  when 
we  have  got  outside  it  and  looked  at  calamity  as 
a  collective  risk,  than  this  amazed  anguish  that 
I  and  not  Thou,  He,,  or  She,  should  be  just  the 
smitten  one  ?  Yet  perhaps  some  who  have  after- 
wards made  themselves  a  willing  fence  before  the 
breast  of  another,  and  have  carried  their  own 
heart -wound  in  heroic  silence — some  who  have 
made  their  latter  deeds  great,  nevertheless  began 
with  this  angry  amazement  at  their  own  smart, 
and  on  the  mere  denial  of  their  fantastic  desires 
raged  as  if  under  the  sting  of  wasps  which  reduced 
the  universe  for  them  to  an  unjust  infliction  of 
pain.  This  was  nearly  poor  Gwendolen's  condi- 
tion. What  though  such  a  reverse  as  hers  had 
often  happened  to  other  girls  ?  The  one  point  she 
had  been  all  her  life  learning  to  care  for  was, 
that  it  had  happened  to  her :  it  was  what  she  felt 
under  Klesmer's  demonstration  that  she  was  not 
remarkable  enough  to  command  fortune  by  force 
of  wUl  and  merit;  it  was  what  she  would  feel 
under  the  rigours  of  Mrs  Mompert's  constant  ex- 
pectation, under  the  dull  demand  that  she  should 
be  cheerful  with  three  Miss  Momperts,  under  the 
necessity  of  showing  herself  entirely  submissive, 


and  keeping  her  thoughts  to  herself.  To  be  a 
queen  disthroned  is  not  so  hard  as  some  other 
down-stepping :  imagine  one  who  had  been  made 
to  believe  in  his  own  divinity  finding  all  homage 
withdrawn,  and  himself  unable  to  perform  a 
miracle  that  would  recall  the  homage  and  restore 
his  own  confidence.  Something  akin  to  this  illu- 
sion and  this  helplessness  had  befallen  the  poor 
spoiled  child,  with  the  lovely  Kps  and  eyes  and 
the  majestic  figure — ^which  seemed  now  to  have 
no  magic  in  them. 

She  rose  from  the  low  ottoman  where  she  had 
been  sitting  purposeless,  and  walked  up  and  down 
the  drawing-room,  resting  her  elbow  on  one 
palm  while  she  leaned  down  her  cheek  on  the 
other,  and  a  slow  tear  fell.  She  thought,  "  I  have 
always,  ever  since  I  was  little,  felt  that  mamma 
was  not  a  happy  woman ;  and  now  I  daresay  I 
shall  be  more  unhappy  than  she  has  been."  Her 
mind  dwelt  for  a  few  moments  on  the  picture  of 
herself  losing  her  youth  and  ceasing  to  enjoy — 
not  minding  whether  she  did  this  or  that :  but 
such  picturing  inevitably  brought  back  the  image 
of  her  mother.  "  Poor  mamma  !  it  will  be  still 
worse  for  her  now.  I  can  get  a  little  money  for 
her — ^that  is  all  I  shall  care  about  now."  And  then 
with  an  entirely  new  movement  of  her  imagina- 


tion,  she  saw  her  mother  getting  quite  old  and 
white,  and  herself  no  longer  young  but  faded,  and 
their  two  faces  meeting  still  with  memory  and 
love,  and  she  knowing  what  was  in  her  mother's 
mind — "Poor  Gwen  too  is  sad  and  faded  now" — 
and  then  for  the  first  time  she  sobbed,  not  in  anger 
but  with  a  sort  of  tender  misery. 

Her  face  was  towards  the  door  and  she  saw  her 
mother  enter.  She  barely  saw  that ;  for  her  eyes 
were  large  with  tears,  and  she  pressed  her  hand- 
kerchief against  them  hurriedly.  Before  she  took 
it  away  she  felt  her  mother's  arms  round  her,  and 
this  sensation,  which  seemed  a  prolongation  of  her 
inward  vision,  overcame  her  will  to  be  reticent : 
she  sobbed  anew  in  spite  of  herself,  as  they  pressed 
their  cheeks  together. 

Mrs  Davilow  had  brought  something  in  her 
hand  which  had  already  caused  her  an  agitating 
anxiety,  and  she  dared  not  speak  until  her  darling 
had  become  calmer.  But  Gwendolen,  with  whom 
weeping  had  always  been  a  painful  manifestation 
to  be  resisted  if  possible,  again  pressed  her  hand- 
kerchief against  her  eyes,  and  with  a  deep  breath 
drew  her  head  backward  and  looked  at  her  mother, 
who  was  pale  and  tremulous. 

"It  was  nothing,  mamma,"  said  Gwendolen, 
thinking  that  her  mother  had  been  moved  in  this 

VOL.  11.  L 


way  simply  by  finding  her  in  distress.  "  It  is  all 
over  now." 

But  Mrs  Davilow  had  withdrawn  her  arms,  and 
Gwendolen  perceived  a  letter  in  her  hand. 

"What  is  that  letter? — worse  news  still?"  she 
asked,  with  a  touch  of  bitterness. 

"  I  don't  know  what  you  will  think  it,  dear," 
said  Mrs  Davilow,  keeping  the  letter  in  her  hand. 
"  You  will  hardly  guess  where  it  comes  from." 

"  Don't  ask  me  to  guess  anything,"  said  Gwen- 
dolen, rather  impatiently,  as  if  a  bruise  were  being 

"  It  is  addressed  to  you,  dear." 

Gwendolen  gave  the  slightest  perceptible  toss 
of  the  head. 

"It  comes  from  Diplow,"  said  Mrs  Davilow, 
giving  her  the  letter. 

She  knew  Grandcourt's  indistinct  handwriting, 
and  her  mother  was  not  surprised  to  see  her  blush 
deeply;  but  watching  her  as  she  read,  and  wonder- 
ing much  what  was  the  purport  of  the  letter,  she 
saw  the  colour  die  out.  Gwendolen's  lips  even 
were  pale  as  she  turned  the  open  note  towards 
her  mother.     The  words  were  few  and  formal. 

"  Mr  Grandcourt  presents  his  compliments  to 
Miss  Harleth,  and  begs  to  know  whether  he  may 


be  permitted  to  call  at  Offendene  to-morrow  after 
two,  and  to  see  her  alone.  Mr  Grandcourt  has 
just  returned  from  Leubronn,  where  he  had  hoped 
to  find  Miss  Harleth." 

Mrs  Davilow  read,  and  then  looked  at  her 
daughter  inquiringly,  leaving  the  note  in  her 
hand.  Gwendolen  let  it  fall  on  the  floor,  and 
turned  away. 

"  It  must  be  answered,  darling,"  said  Mrs 
Davilow,  timidly.     "  The  man  waits." 

Gwendolen  sank  on  the  settee,  clasped  her 
hands,  and  looked  straight  before  her,  not  at  her 
mother.  She  had  the  expression  of  one  who  had 
been  startled  by  a  sound  and  was  listening  to 
know  what  would  come  of  it.  The  sudden  change 
of  the  situation  was  bewildering.  A  few  minutes 
before  she  was  looking  along  an  inescapable  path 
of  repulsive  monotony,  with  hopeless  inward  re- 
bellion against  the  imperious  lot  which  left  her 
no  choice :  and  lo,  now,  a  moment  of  choice  was 
come.  Yet — was  it  triumph  she  felt  most  or 
terror?  Impossible  for  Gwendolen  not  to  feel 
some  triumph  in  a  tribute  to  her  power  at  a  time 
when  she  was  first  tasting  the  bitterness  of  insig- 
nificance :  again  she  seemed  to  be  getting  a  sort 
of  empire  over  her  own  life.     But  how  to  use  it  ? 


Here  came  the  terror.  Quick,  quick,  like  pictures 
in  a  book  beaten  open  with  a  sense  of  hurry,  came 
back  vividly,  yet  in  fragments,  all  that  she  had  gone 
through  in  relation  to  Grandcourt — the  allure- 
ments, the  vacillations,  the  resolve  to  accede,  the 
final  repulsion;  the  incisive  face  of  that  dark- 
eyed  lady  with  the  lovely  boy ;  her  own  pledge 
(was  it  a  pledge  not  to  marry  him  ? ) — ^the  new 
disbelief  in  the  worth  of  men  and  things  for  which 
that  scene  of  disclosure  had  become  a  symbol. 
That  unalterable  experience  made  a  vision  at 
which  in  the  first  agitated  moment,  before  tem- 
pering reflections  could  suggest  themselves,  her 
native  terror  shrank. 

Where  was  the  good  of  choice  coming  again  ? 
What  did  she  wish  ?  Anything  different  ?  No  ! 
and  yet  in  the  dark  seed-growths  of  conscious- 
ness a  new  wish  was  forming  itself — ''I  wish  I 
had  never  known  it ! "  Something,  anything  she 
wished  for  that  would  have  saved  her  from  the 
dread  to  let  Grandcourt  come. 

It  was  no  long  while — yet  it  seemed  long  to 
Mrs  Davilow,  before  she  thought  it  well  to  say, 

"It  will  be  necessary  for  you  to  write,  dear. 
Or  shall  I  write  an  answer  for  you — which  you 
will  dictate?" 


"  No,  mamma,"  said  Gwendolen,  drawing  a  deep 
breath.  "But  please  lay  me  out  the  pen  and 

That  was  gaining  time.  Was  she  to  decline 
Grandcourt's  visit — close  the  shutters — not  even 
look  out  on  what  would  happen? — though  with 
the  assurance  that  she  should  remain  just  where 
she  was  ?  The  young  activity  within  her  made  a 
warm  current  through  her  terror  and  stirred  to- 
wards something  that  would  be  an  event — towards 
an  opportunity  in  which  she  could  look  and  speak 
with  the  former  effectiveness.  The  interest  of  the 
morrow  was  no  longer  at  a  dead-lock. 

"  There  is  really  no  reason  on  earth  why  you 
should  be  so  alarmed  at  the  man's  waiting  a  few 
minutes,  mamma,"  said  Gwendolen,  remonstrantly, 
as  Mrs  Davilow,  having  prepared  the  writing  ma- 
terials, looked  towards  her  expectantly.  "Ser- 
vants expect  nothing  else  than  to  wait.  It  is  not 
to  be  supposed  that  I  must  write  on  the  instant." 

"No,  dear,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  in  the  tone  of 
one  corrected,  turning  to  sit  down  and  take  up  a 
bit  of  work  that  lay  at  hand ;  "  he  can  wait  another 
quarter  of  an  hour,  if  you  like." 

It  was  very  simple  speech  and  action  on  her 
part,  but  it  was  what  might  have  been  subtly  cal- 
culated.    Gwendolen  felt  a  contradictory  desire 


to  be  hastened:  hurry  would  save  her  from  de- 
liberate choice. 

"  I  did  not  mean  him  to  wait  long  enough  for 
that  needlework  to  be  finished,"  she  said,  lifting 
her  hands  to  stroke  the  backward  curves  of  her 
hair,  while  she  rose  from  her  seat  and  stood  still. 

"But  if  you  don't  feel  able  to  decide?"  said 
Mrs  Davilow,  sympathisingly. 

"I  must  decide,"  said  Gwendolen,  walking  to 
the  writing-table  and  seating  herself.  All  the 
while  there  was  a  busy  undercurrent  in  her,  like 
the  thought  of  a  man  who  keeps  up  a  dialogue 
while  he  is  considering  how  he  can  slip  away. 
Why  should  she  not  let  him  come  ?  It  bound  her 
to  nothing.  He  had  been  to  Leubronn  after  her  ; 
of  course  he  meant  a  direct  unmistakable  re^ 
newal  of  the  suit  which  before  had  been  only  im- 
plied. What  then?  She  could  reject  him.  Why 
was  she  to  deny  herseK  the  freedom  of  doing  this 
— which  she  would  like  to  do  ? 

"  If  Mr  Grandcourt  has  only  just  returned  from 
Leubronn,"  said  Mrs  Davilow,  observing  that 
Gwendolen  leaned  back  in  her  chair  after  taking 
the  pen  in  her  hand — "  I  wonder  whether  he  has 
heard  of  our  misfortunes." 

"  That  could  make  no  difference  to  a  man  in  his 
position,"  said  Gwendolen,  rather  contemptuously. 


"It  would,  to  some  men,"  said  Mrs  Davilow. 
"  They  would  not  like  to  take  a  wife  from  a  family 
in  a  state  of  beggary  almost,  as  we  are.  Here  we 
are  at  Offendene  with  a  great  shell  over  us  as 
usual.  But  just  imagine  his  finding  us  at  Saw- 
yer's Cottage.  Most  men  are  afraid  of  being  bored 
or  taxed  by  a  wife's  family.  If  Mr  Grandcourt 
did  know,  I  think  it  a  strong  proof  of  his^  attach- 
ment to  you." . 

Mrs  Davilow  spoke  with  unusual  emphasis  :  it 
was  the  first  time  she  had  ventured  to  say  any- 
thing about  Grandcourt  which  would  necessarily 
seem  intended  as  an  argument  in  favour  of  him, 
her  habitual  impression  being  that  such  argu- 
ments would  certainly  be  useless  and  might  be 
worse.  The  effect  of  her  words  now  was  stronger 
than  she  could  imagine :  they  raised  a  new  set  of 
possibilities  in  Gwendolen's  mind — a  vision  of 
what  Grandcourt  might  do  for  her  mother  if  she, 
Gwendolen,  did — what  she  was  not  going  to  do. 
She  was  so  moved  by  a  new  rush  of  ideas,  that 
like  one  conscious  of  being  urgently  called  away, 
she  felt  that  the  immediate  task  must  be  hastened  : 
the  letter  must  be  written,  else  it  might  be  end- 
lessly deferred.  After  aU,  she  acted  in  a  hurry  as 
she  had  wished  to  do.  To  act  in  a  hurry  was  to 
have  a  reason  for  keeping  away  from  an  absolute 


decision,  and  to  leave  open  as  many  issues  as 

She  wrote  :  "  Miss  Harleth  presents  her  compli- 
ments to  Mr  Grandcourt.  She  will  be  at  home 
after  two  o'clock  to-morrow." 

Before  addressing  the  note  she  said, ''  Pray  ring 
the  bell,  mamma,  if  there  is  any  one  to  answer  it.'- 
She  really  did  not  know  who  did  the  work  of  the 

It  was  not  till  after  the  letter  had  been  taken 
away  and  Gwendolen  had  risen  again,  stretching 
out  one  arm  and  then  resting  it  on  her  head,  with 
a  long  moan  which  had  a  sound  of  relief  in  it,  that 
Mrs  Davilow  ventured  to  ask — 

"  What  did  you  say,  Gwen  ? " 

"  I  said  that  I  should  be  at  home,"  answered 
Gwendolen,  rather  loftily.  Then,  after  a  pause, 
"You  must  not  expect,  because  Mr  Grandcourt 
is  coming,  that  anything  is  going  to  happen, 

"  I  don't  allow  myself  to  expect  anything,  dear. 
I  desire  you  to  follow  your  own  feeling.  You 
have  never  told  me  what  that  was." 

"  What  is  the  use  of  telling  ? "  said  Gwendolen, 
hearing  a  reproach  in  that  true  statement. 
"When  I  have  anything  pleasant  to  tell,  you 
may  be  sure  I  will  tell  you." 


"  But  Mr  Grandcourt  will  consider  that  you  have 
already  accepted  him,  in  allowing  him  to  come. 
His  note  tells  you  plainly  enough  that  he  is 
coming  to  make  you  an  offer." 

"  Very  well ;  and  I  wish  to  have  the  pleasure 
of  refusing  him." 

Mrs  Davilow  looked  up  in  wonderment,  but 
Gwendolen  implied  her  wish  not  to  be  questioned 
further  by  saying — 

"  Put  down  that  detestable  needlework,  and  let 
us  walk  in  the  avenue.     I  am  stifled." 



Desire  has  trimmed  the  sails,  and  Circumstance 
Brings  but  the  breeze  to  fill  them. 

While  Grandcourt  on  his  beautiful  black  Yarico, 
the  groom  behind  him  on  Criterion,  was  taking 
the  pleasant  ride  from  Diplow  to  Offendene, 
Gwendolen  was  seated  before  the  mirror  while 
her  mother  gathered  up  the  lengthy  mass  of 
light-brown  hair  which  she  had  been  carefully 

"Only  gather  it  up  easily  and  make  a  coil, 
mamma,"  said  Gwendolen. 

"  Let  me  bring  you  some  earrings,  Gwen/'  said 
Mrs  Davilow,  when  the  hair  was  adjusted,  and  they 
were  both  looking  at  the  reflection  in  the  glass.  It 
was  impossible  for  them  not  to  notice  that  the  eyes 
looked  brighter  than  they  had  done  of  late,  that 
there  seemed  to  be  a  shadow  lifted  from  the  face, 
leaving  all  the  lines  once  more  in  their  placid 
youthfulness.     The  mother  drew  some  inferences 


that  made  her  voice  rather  cheerful.     "You  do 
want  your  earrings  ? " 

"  No,  mamma ;  I  shall  not  wear  any  ornaments, 
and  I  shall  put  on  my  black  silk.  Black  is  the 
only  wear  when  one  is  going  to  refuse  an  offer," 
said  Gwendolen,  with  one  of  her  old  smiles  at  her 
mother,  while  she  rose  to  throw  off  her  dressing- 

"  Suppose  the  offer  is  not  made  after  all,"  said 
Mrs  Davilow,  not  without  a  sly  intention. 

"  Then  that  will  be  because  I  refuse  it  before- 
hand," said  Gwendolen.  "  It  comes  to  the  same 

There  was  a  proud  little  toss  of  her  head  as  she 
said  this ;  and  when  she  walked  down-stairs  in  her 
long  black  robes,  there  was  just  that  firm  poise  of 
head  and  elasticity  of  form  which  had  lately  been 
missing,  as  in  a  parched  plant.  Her  mother 
thought,  "  She  is  quite  herself  again.  It  must  be 
pleasure  in  his  coming.  Can  her  mind  be  really 
made  up  against  him  ? " 

Gwendolen  would  have  been  rather  angry  if 
that  thought  had  been  uttered;  perhaps  aU  the 
more  because  through  the  last  twenty  hours,  with 
a  brief  interruption  of  sleep,  she  had  been  so  occu- 
pied with  perpetually  alternating  images  and  argu- 
ments for  and  against  the  possibility  of  her  marry- 


ing  Grandcourt,  that  the  conclusion  which  she  had 
determined  on  beforehand  ceased  to  have  any  hold 
on  her  consciousness  :  the  alternate  dip  of  counter- 
balancing thoughts  begotten  of  counterbalancing 
desires  had  brought  her  into  a  state  in  which  no 
conclusion  could  look  fixed  to  her.  She  would 
have  expressed  her  resolve  as  before ;  but  it  was  a 
form  out  of  which  the  blood  had  been  sucked — no 
more  a  part  of  quivering  life  than  the  "  God's  will 
be  done  "  of  one  who  is  eagerly  watching  chances. 
She  did  not  mean  to  accept  Grandcourt ;  from  the 
first  moment  of  receiving  his  letter  she  had  meant 
to  refuse  him ;  still,  that  could  not  but  prompt  her 
to  look  the  unwelcome  reasons  full  in  the  face 
until  she  had  a  little  less  awe  of  them,  could  not 
hinder  her  imagination  from  filling  out  her  know- 
ledge in  various  ways,  some  of  which  seemed  to 
change  the  aspect  of  what  she  knew.  By  dint  of 
looking  at  a  dubious  object  with  a  constructive 
imagination,  one  can  give  it  twenty  different 
shapes.  Her  indistinct  grounds  of  hesitation 
before  the  interview  at  the  Whispering  Stones, 
at  present  counted  for  nothing;  they  were  all 
merged  in  the  final  repulsion.  If  it  had  not  been 
for  that  day  in  Cardell  Chase,  she  said  to  herself 
now,  there  would  have  been  no  obstacle  to  her 
marrying  Grandcourt.     On  that  day  and  after  it. 


she  had  not  reasoned  and  balanced :  she  had  acted 
with  a  force  of  impulse  against  which  all  question- 
ing was  no  more  than  a  voice  against  a  torrent. 
The  impulse  had  come — not  only  from  her  maid- 
enly pride  and  jealousy,  not  only  from  the  shock 
of  another  woman's  calamity  thrust  close  on  her 
vision,  but — from  her  dread  of  wrong- doing,  which 
was  vague,  it  is  true,  and  aloof  from  the  daily  de- 
tails of  her  life,  but  not  the  less  strong.  What- 
ever was  accepted  as  consistent  with  being  a  lady 
she  had  no  scruple  about ;  but  from  the  dim  region 
of  what  was  called  disgraceful,  wrong,  guilty,  she 
shrank  with  mingled  pride  and  terror ;  and  even 
apart  from  shame,  her  feeling  would  have  made 
her  place  any  deliberate  injury  of  another  in  the 
region  of  guilt. 

But  now — did  she  know  exactly  what  was  the 
state  of  the  case  with  regard  to  Mrs  Glasher  and  her 
children  ?  She  had  given  a  sort  of  promise — had 
said, "  I  will  not  interfere  with  your  wishes."  But 
would  another  woman  who  married  Grandcourt  be 
in  fact  the  decisive  obstacle  to  her  wishes,  or  be 
doing  her  and  her  boy  any  real  injury  ?  Might  it 
not  be  just  as  well,  nay  better,  that  Grandcourt 
should  marry  ?  For  what  could  not  a  woman  do 
when  she  was  married,  if  she  knew  how  to  assert 
herself  ?     Here  all  was  constructive  imagination. 


Gwendolen  had  about  as  accurate  a  conception  of 
marriage — that  is  to  say,  of  the  mutual  influences, 
demands,  duties  of  man  and  woman  in  the  state 
of  matrimony — as  she  had  of  magnetic  currents 
and  the  law  of  storms. 

"Mamma  managed  badly,"  was  her  way  of 
summing  up  what  she  had  seen  of  her  mother's 
experience:  she  herself  would  manage  quite  dif- 
ferently. And  the  trials  of  matrimony  were  the 
last  theme  into  which  Mrs  Davilow  could  choose 
to  enter  fully  with  this  daughter. 

"  I  wonder  what  mamma  and  my  uncle  would 
say  if  they  knew  about  Mrs  Glasher!"  thought 
Gwendolen,  in  her  inward  debating ;  not  that  she 
could  imagine  herself  telling  them,  even  if  she  had 
not  felt  bound  to  silence.  "  I  wonder  what  any- 
body would  say ;  or  what  they  would  say  to  Mr 
Grandcourt's  marrying  some  one  else  and  having 
other  children!"  To  consider  what  "anybody" 
would  say,  was  to  be  released  from  the  difficulty 
of  judging  where  everything  was  obscure  to  hei 
when  feeling  had  ceased  to  be  decisive.  She  had 
only  to  collect  her  memories,  which  proved  to  her 
that  "  anybody "  regarded  illegitimate  children  as 
more  rightfully  to  be  looked  shy  on  and  deprived 
of  social  advantages  than  illegitimate  fathers.  The 
verdict  of  "  anybody  "  seemed  to  be  that  she  had 


no  reason  to  concern  herself  greatly  on  behalf  of 
Mrs  Glasher  and  her  children. 

But  there  was  another  way  in  which  they  had 
caused  her  concern.  What  others  might  think, 
could  not  do  away  with  a  feeling  which  in  the 
first  instance  would  hardly  be  too  strongly  de- 
scribed as  indignation  and  loathing  that  she  should 
have  been  expected  to  unite  herself  with  an  out- 
worn life,  full  of  backward  secrets  which  must 
have  been  more  keenly  felt  than  any  associations 
with  her.  True,  the  question  of  love  on  her  own 
part  had  occupied  her  scarcely  at  all  in  relation  to 
Grandcourt.  The  desirability  of  marriage  for  her 
had  always  seemed  due  to  other  feelings  than  love ; 
and  to  be  enamoured  was  the  part  of  the  man,  on 
whom  the  advances  depended.  Gwendolen  had 
found  no  objection  to  Grandcourt's  way  of  being 
enamoured  before  she  had  had  that  glimpse  of  his 
past,  which  she  resented  as  if  it  had  been  a  delib- 
erate offence  against  her.  His  advances  to  Tier 
were  deliberate,  and  she  felt  a  retrospective  dis- 
gust for  them.  Perhaps  other  men's  lives  were  of 
the  same  kind — full  of  secrets  which  made  the 
ignorant  suppositions  of  the  woman  they  wanted 
to  marry  a  farce  at  which  they  were  laughing  in 
their  sleeves. 

These  feelings  of  disgust  and  indignation  had 


sunk  deep ;  and  though  other  troublous  experience 
in  the  last  weeks  had  dulled  them  from  passion 
into  remembrance,  it  was  chiefly  their  reverber- 
ating activity  which  kept  her  firm  to  the  under- 
standing with  herself,  that  she  was  not  going  to 
accept  Grandcourt.  She  had  never  meant  to  form 
a  new  determination;  she  had  only  been  con- 
sidering what  might  be  thought  or  said.  If  any- 
thing could  have  induced  her  to  change,  it  would 
have  been  the  prospect  of  making  all  things  easy 
for  ''poor  mamma:"  that,  she  admitted,  was  a 
temptation.  But  no  !  she  was  going  to  refuse 
him.  Meanwhile,  the  thought  that  he  was  com- 
ing to  be  refused  was  inspiriting:  she  had  the 
white  reins  in  her  hands  again ;  there  was  a  new 
current  in  her  frame,  reviving  her  from  the  beaten- 
down  consciousness  in  which  she  had  been  left  by 
the  interview  with  Klesmer.  She  was  not  now 
going  to  crave  an  opinion  of  her  capabilities ;  she 
was  going  to  exercise  her  power. 

Was  this  what  made  her  heart  palpitate  annoy- 
ingly  when  she  heard  the  horse's  footsteps  on  the 
gravel  ? — when  Miss  Merry,  who  opened  the  door 
to  Grandcourt,  came  to  tell  her  that  he  was  in  the 
drawing-room  ?  The  hours  of  preparation  and  the 
triumph  of  the  situation  were  apparently  of  no  use : 
she  might  as  well  have  seen  Grandcourt  coming 


suddenly  on  her  in  the  midst  of  her  despondency. 
While  walking  into  the  drawing-room  she  had  to 
concentrate  all  her  energy  in  that  self-control  which 
made  her  appear  gravely  gracious  as  she  gave  her 
hand  to  him,  and  answered  his  hope  that  she  was 
quite  well  in  a  voice  as  low  and  languid  as  his  own. 
A  moment  afterwards,  when  they  were  both  of 
them  seated  on  two  of  the  wreath-painted  chairs — 
Gwendolen  upright  with  downcast  eyelids.  Grand- 
court  about  two  yards  distant,  leaning  one  arm  over 
the  back  of  his  chair  and  looking  at  her,  while  he 
held  his  hat  in  his  left  hand — any  one  seeing 
them  as  a  picture  would  have  concluded  that  they 
were  in  some  stage  of  love-making  suspense.  And 
certainly  the  love-making  had  begun :  she  already 
felt  herself  being  wooed  by  this  silent  man  seated 
at  an  agreeable  distance,  with  the  subtlest  atmos- 
phere of  atta  of  roses  and  an  attention  bent  wholly 
on  her.  And  he  also  considered  himself  to  be  woo- 
ing :  he  was  not  a  man  to  suppose  that  his  presence 
carried  no  consequences  ;  and  he  was  exactly  the 
man  to  feel  the  utmost  piquancy  in  a  girl  whom  he 
had  not  found  quite  calculable. 

"  I  was  disappointed  not  to  find  you  at  Leu- 
bronn,"  he  began,  his  usual  broken  drawl  having 
just  a  shade   of  amorous  languor  in  it.     "The 

VOL.  U.  M 


place  was  intolerable  without  you.  A  mere  ken- 
nel of  a  place.     Don't  you  think  so  ? " 

"  I  can't  judge  what  it  would  be  without  myself," 
said  Gwendolen,  turning  her  eyes  on  him,  with 
some  recovered  sense  of  mischief.  "  With  myself 
I  liked  it  well  enough  to  have  stayed  longer,  if  I 
could.  But  I  was  obliged  to  come  home  on  account 
of  family  troubles." 

"  It  was  very  cruel  of  you  to  go  to  Leubronn," 
said  Grandcourt,  taking  no  notice  of  the  troubles, 
on  which  Gwendolen — she  hardly  knew  why — 
wished  that  there  should  be  a  clear  understanding 
at  once.  "  You  must  have  known  that  it  would 
spoil  everything :  you  knew  you  were  the  heart 
and  soul  of  everything  that  went  on.  Are  you 
quite  reckless  about  me  ? " 

It  was  impossible  to  say  "  yes  "  in  a  tone  that 
would  be  taken  seriously ;  equally  impossible  to 
say  "  no  " ;  but  what  else  could  she  say  ?  In  her 
difficulty,  she  turned  down  her  eyelids  again  and 
blushed  over  face  and  neck.  Grandcourt  saw  her 
in  a  new  phase,  and  believed  that  she  was  showing 
her  inclination.  But  he  was  determined  that  she 
should  show  it  more  decidedly. 

"  Perhaps  there  is  some  deeper  interest  ?  Some 
attraction — some   engagement — which  it  would 


have  been  only  fair  to  make  me  aware  of?  Is 
there  any  man  who  stands  between  us  ? " 

Inwardly  the  answer  framed  itself,  "  No ;  but 
there  is  a  woman."  Yet  how  could  she  utter  this  ? 
Even  if  she  had  not  promised  that  woman  to  be 
silent,  it  would  have  been  impossible  for  her  to 
enter  on  the  subject  with  Grandcourt.  But  how 
could  she  arrest  this  wooing  by  beginning  to  make 
a  formal  speech — "  I  perceive  your  intention — it 
is  most  flattering,  &c."  A  fish  honestly  invited  to 
come  and  be  eaten  has  a  clear  course  in  declining, 
but  how  if  it  finds  itself  swimming  against  a  net  ? 
And  apart  from  the  network,  would  she  have 
dared  at  once  to  say  anything  decisive  ?  Gwen- 
dolen had  not  time  to  be  clear  on  that  point.  As 
it  was,  she  felt  compelled  to  silence,  and  after  a 
pause,  Grandcourt  said — 

"  Am  I  to  understand  that  some  one  else  is  pre- 

Gwendolen,  now  impatient  of  her  own  embar- 
rassment, determined  to  rush  at  the  difficulty 
and  free  herself.  She  raised  her  eyes  again  and 
said  with  something  of  her  former  clearness  and 
defiance,  "No"  —  wishing  him  to  understand, 
"  What  then ?  I  may  not  be  ready  to  take  you" 
There  was  nothing  that  Grandcourt  could  not 


understand  which  he  perceived  likely  to  affect 
his  amour  propre. 

"The  last  thing  I  would  do,  is  to  impoitune 
you.  I  should  not  hope  to  win  you  by  making 
myself  a  bore.  If  there  were  no  hope  for  me,  I 
would  ask  you  to  tell  me  so  at  once,  that  I  might 
just  ride  away  to — no  matter  where." 

Almost  to  her  own  astonishment,  Gwendolen 
felt  a  sudden  alarm  at  the  image  of  Grandcourt 
finally  riding  away.  What  would  be  left  her  then  ? 
Nothing  but  the  former  dreariness.  She  liked 
him  to  be  there.  She  snatched  at  the  subject  that 
would  defer  any  decisive  answer. 

"  I  fear  you  are  not  aware  of  what  has  happened 
to  us.  I  have  lately  had  to  think  so  much  of  my 
mamma's  troubles,  that  other  subjects  have  been 
quite  thrown  into  the  background.  She  has  lost 
all  her  fortune,  and  we  are  going  to  leave  this  place. 
I  must  ask  you  to  excuse  my  seeming  preoccupied." 

In  eluding  a  direct  appeal  Gwendolen  recovered 
some  of  her  self-possession.  She  spoke  with  dig- 
nity and  looked  straight  at  Grandcourt,  whose  long, 
narrow,  inpenetrable  eyes  met  hers,  and  mysteri- 
ously arrested  them  :  mysteriously;  for  the  subtly- 
varied  drama  between  man  and  woman  is  often 
such  as  can  hardly  be  rendered  in  words  put  to- 
gether like  dominoes,  according  to  obvious  fixed 


marks.  The  word  of  all  work  Love  will  no  more 
express  the  myriad  modes  of  mutual  attraction, 
than  the  word  Thought  can  inform  you  what  is 
passing  through  your  neighbour's  mind.  It  would 
be  hard  to  tell  on  which  side — Gwendolen's  or 
Grandcourt's — the  influence  was  more  mixed.  At 
that  moment  his  strongest  wish  was  to  be  com- 
pletely master  of  this  creature — this  piquant  com- 
bination of  maidenliness  and  mischief :  that  she 
knew  things  which  had  made  her  start  away  from 
him,  spurred  him  to  triumph  over  that  repugnance  ; 
and  he  was  believing  that  he  should  triumph. 
And  she — ah,  piteous  equality  in  the  need  to 
dominate  ! — she  was  overcome  like  the  thirsty  one 
who  is  drawn  towards  the  seeming  water  in  the 
desert,  overcome  by  the  suffused  sense  that  here 
in  this  man's  homage  to  her  lay  the  rescue  from 
helpless  subjection  to  an  oppressive  lot. 

All  the  while  they  were  looking  at  each  other ; 
and  Grandcourt  said,  slowly  and  languidly,  as  if 
it  were  of  no  importance,  other  things  having  been 
settled — 

"  You  will  tell  me  now,  I  hope,  that  Mrs  Davi- 
low's  loss  of  fortune  will  not  trouble  you  further. 
You  win  trust  to  me  to  prevent  it  from  weighing 
upon  her.  You  will  give  me  the  claim  to  provide 
against  that." 


The  little  pauses  and  refined  drawliugs  with 
which  this  speech  was  uttered,  gave  time  for 
Gwendolen  to  go  through  the  dream  of  a  Ufa 
As  the  words  penetrated  her,  they  had  the  effect 
of  a  draught  of  wine,  which  suddenly  makes  all 
things  easier,  desirable  things  not  so  wrong,  and 
people  in  general  less  disagreeable.  She  had  a 
momentary  phantasmal  love  for  this  man  who 
chose  his  words  so  well,  and  who  was  a  mere  incar- 
nation of  delicate  homage.  Eepugnance,  dread, 
scruples — these  were  dim  as  remembered  pains, 
while  she  was  already  tasting  relief  under  the 
immediate  pain  of  hopelessness.  She  imagined 
herself  already  springing  to  her  mother,  and  being 
playful  again.  Yet  when  Grandcourt  had  ceased 
to  speak,  there  was  an  instant  in  which  she  was 
conscious  of  being  at  the  turning  of  the  ways. 

"  You  are  very  generous,"  she  said,  not  moving 
her  eyes,  and  speaking  with  a  gentle  intonation. 

"You  accept  what  will  make  such  things  a 
matter  of  course  ? "  said  Grandcourt,  without  any 
new  eagerness.   "You  consent  to  become  my  wife?" 

This  time  Gwendolen  remained  quite  pale. 
Something  made  her  rise  from  her  seat  in  spite  of 
herself,  and  walk  to  a  little  distance.  Then  she 
turned  and  with  her  hands  folded  before  her 
stood  in  silence. 


Grandcourt  immediately  rose  too,  resting  his 
hat  on  the  chair,  but  still  keeping  hold  of  it. 
The  evident  hesitation  of  this  destitute  girl  to 
take  his  splendid  offer  stung  him  into  a  keenness 
of  interest  such  as  he  had  not  known  for  years. 
None  the  less  because  he  attributed  her  hesitation 
entirely  to  her  knowledge  about  Mrs  Glasher.  In 
that  attitude  of  preparation,  he  said — 

"  Do  you  command  me  to  go  ? "  No  familiar 
spirit  could  have  suggested  to  him  more  effective 

"  No,"  said  Gwendolen.  She  could  not  let  him 
go :  that  negative  was  a  clutch.  She  seemed  to 
herself  to  be,  after  all,  only  drifted  towards  the 
tremendous  decision : — ^but  drifting  depends  on 
something  besides  the  currents,  when  the  sails 
have  been  set  beforehand. 

*'  You  accept  my  devotion  ? "  said  Grandcourt, 
holding  his  hat  by  his  side  and  looking  straight 
into  her  eyes,  without  other  movement.  Their 
eyes  meeting  in  that  way  seemed  to  allow  any 
length  of  pause ;  but  wait  as  long  as  she  would, 
how  could  she  contradict  herself?  What  had 
she  detained  him  for?  He  had  shut  out  any 

"  Yes,"  came  as  gravely  from  Gwendolen's  lips 
as  if  she  had  been  answering  to  her  name  in  a 


court  of  justice.  He  received  it  gravely,  and  they 
still  looked  at  each  other  in  the  same  attitude. 
Was  there  ever  before  such  a  way  of  accepting  the 
bliss-giving  "  Yes  "  ?  Grandcourt  liked  better  to 
be  at  that  distance  from  her,  and  to  feel  under  a 
ceremony  imposed  by  an  indefinable  prohibition 
that  breathed  from  Gwendolen's  bearing. 

But  he  did  at  length  lay  down  his  hat  and 
advance  to  take  her  hand,  just  pressing  his  lips 
upon  it  and  letting  it  go  again.  She  thought  his 
behaviour  perfect,  and  gained  a  sense  of  freedom 
which  made  her  almost  ready  to  be  mischievous. 
Her  "  Yes  "  entailed  so  little  at  this  moment,  that 
there  was  nothing  to  screen  the  reversal  of  her 
gloomy  prospects :  her  vision  was  filled  by  her 
own  release  from  the  Momperts,  and  her  mother's 
release  from  Sawyer's  Cottage.  With  a  happy 
curl  of  the  lips,  she  said — 

"Will  you  not  see  mamma?  I  will  fetch 

"  Let  us  wait  a  little,"  said  Grandcourt,  in  his 
favourite  attitude,  having  his  left  forefinger  and 
thumb  in  his  waistcoat-pocket,  and  with  his  right 
caressing  his  whisker,  while  he  stood  near  Gwen- 
dolen and  looked  at  her — not  unlike  a  gentleman 
who  has  a  felicitous  introduction  at  an  evening 


"  Have  you  anything  else  to  say  to  me  ? "  said 
Gwendolen,  playfully. 

"  Yes. — I  know  having  things  said  to  you  is  a 
great  bore,"  said  Grandcourt,  rather  sympatheti- 

"  Not  when  they  are  things  I  like  to  hear." 

"  Will  it  bother  you  to  be  asked  how  soon  we 
can  be  married  ? " 

"  I  think  it  will,  to-day,"  said  Gwendolen,  put- 
ting up  her  chin  saucily. 

"  Not  to-day,  then.  But  to-morrow.  Think  of 
it  before  I  come  to-morrow.  In  a  fortnight — or 
three  weeks — as  soon  as  possible." 

"  Ah,  you  think  you  will  be  tired  of  my  com- 
pany," said  Gwendolen.  "  I  notice  when  people 
are  married  the  husband  is  not  so  much  with  his 
wife  as  when  they  were  engaged.  But  perhaps  I 
shall  like  that  better  too." 

She  laughed  charmingly. 

"  You  shall  have  whatever  you  like,"  said 

"  And  nothing  that  I  don't  like  ? — please  say 
that ;  because  I  think  I  dislike  what  I  don't  like 
more  than  I  like  what  I  like,"  said  Gwendolen, 
finding  herself  in  the  woman's  paradise  where  all 
her  nonsense  is  adorable. 

Grandcourt  paused :    these  were  subtilties  in 


which  he  had  much  experience  of  his  own.  "I 
don't  know — this  is  such  a  brute  of  a  world,  things 
are  always  turning  up  that  one  doesn't  like.  I 
can't  always  hinder  your  being  bored.  If  you  like 
to  hunt  Criterion,  I  can't  hinder  his  coming  down 
by  some  chance  or  other." 

"  Ah,  my  friend  Criterion,  how  is  he  ? " 

"  He  is  outside :  I  made  the  groom  ride  him, 
that  you  might  see  him.  He  had  the  side-saddle 
on  for  an  hour  or  two  yesterday.  Come  to  the 
window  and  look  at  him." 

They  could  see  the  two  horses  being  taken 
slowly  round  the  sweep,  and  the  beautiful  crea- 
tures, in  their  fine  grooming,  sent  a  thrill  of  exult- 
ation through  Gwendolen.  They  were  the  symbols 
of  command  and  luxury,  in  delightful  contrast 
with  the  ugliness  of  poverty  and  humiliation  at 
which  she  had  lately  been  looking  close. 

"  Will  you  ride  Criterion  to-morrow  ? "  said 
Grandcourt.  "  If  you  will,  everything  shall  be 

"  I  should  like  it  of  all  things,"  said  Gwendolen. 
"  I  want  to  lose  myself  in  a  gallop  again.  But 
now  I  must  go  and  fetch  mamma." 

"  Take  my  arm  to  the  door,  then,"  said  Grand- 
court,  and  she  accepted.  Their  faces  were  very 
near  each  other,  being  almost  on  a  level,  and  he 


was  lookiDg  at  her.  She  thought  his  manners  as 
a  lover  more  agreeable  than  any  she  had  seen 
described.  She  had  no  alarm  lest  he  meant  to 
kiss  her,  and  was  so  much  at  her  ease,  that  she 
suddenly  paused  in  the  middle  of  the  room  and 
said,  half-archly,  half-earnestly — 

"  Oh,  while  I  think  of  it — there  is  something  I 
dislike  that  you  can  save  me  from.  I  do  not  like 
Mr  Lush's  company." 

"  You  shall  not  have  it.  I'll  get  rid  of  him." 
"  You  are  not  fond  of  him  yourself  ? " 
"Not  in  the  least.  I  let  him  hang  on  me 
because  he  has  always  been  a  poor  devil,"  said 
Grandcourt,  in  an  adagio  of  utter  indifference. 
"  They  got  him  to  travel  with  me  when  I  was  a 
lad.  He  was  always  that  coarse-haired  kind  of 
brute — a  sort  of  cross  between  a  hog  and  a 

Gwendolen  laughed.  All  that  seemed  kind  and 
natural  enough :  Grandcourt's  fastidiousness  en- 
hanced the  kindness.  And  when  they  reached 
the  door,  his  way  of  opening  it  for  her  was  the 
perfection  of  easy  homage.  Eeally,  she  thought, 
he  was  likely  to  be  the  least  disagreeable  of  hus- 

Mrs  Davilow  was  waiting  anxiously  in  her  bed- 
room when  Gwendolen  entered,  stepped  towards 


her  quickly,  and  kissing  her  on  both  cheeks  said 
in  a  low  tone,  "  Come  down,  mamma,  and  see  Mr 
Grandconrt.     I  am  engaged  to  him." 

"  My  darling  child  !  "  said  Mrs  Davilow,  with  a 
surprise  that  was  rather  solemn  than  glad. 

"  Yes/'  said  Gwendolen,  in  the  same  tone,  and 
with  a  quickness  which  implied  that  it  was  need- 
less to  ask  questions.  "Everything  is  settled. 
You  are  not  going  to  Sawyer's  Cottage,  I  am  not 
going  to  be  inspected  by  Mrs  Mompert,  and 
everything  is  to  be  as  I  like.  So  come  down 
with  me  immediately." 



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t  BY 




'  KHiol 

Crimson.  Ponceau. 

Brown.  Lilac. 



Sir,— Your  "  Simple  Dyes  for  the  People  "  only  require  a  trial  to  be 
duly  appreciated.  I  have  used  them  for  some  length  of  time,  and  recom- 
mended them  to  many  friends,  who,  with  myself,  find  in  them  an  item  of 
the  highest  economy.  Having  been  successful  with  the  smaller  articles, 
I  tried  the  larger,  and  nuw  dye  all  at  hon:e — viz..  Curtains,  Table-Covers, 
Dresses,  &c. — with  the  most  satisfactory  results.  W.  B.  A. 

March  16,  1875.        * 

From  the  'Englishwoman's  Domestic  Magazine,'  May  1875. 

**The  sun  will  soon  be  beginning  to  make  up  for  lost  time,  and  fade 
our  ribbons,  feathers,  and  lightly-tinted  dresses.  As  a  spring  invest- 
ment we  ought  all  to  lay  in  a  supply  of  Judson's  Dyes,  those  invaluable 
aids  to  economy.  Some  people  are  repelled  by  the  very  idea  of  under- 
taking to  dye  anything  themselves,  because  they  have  an  idea  that  their 
hands  will  get  stained  or  soiled,  but  these  can  have  no  conception  what 
an  exceedingly  simple  process  these  dyes  make  the  formerly  elaborate 
task.  You  proceed  as  follows : — Soak  the  article  to  be  dyed  in  boiling 
water,  and  stir  it  round  till  all  the  dirt  and  grease  have  been  abstracted. 
Then  change  the  water,  still  keeping  it  hot,  and  again  soak  the  article. 
Lift  it  out  of  the  water,  and  pour  in  a  sufficient  quantity  of  dye  to  make 
it  the  required  colour.  Stir  the  water  to  mix  the  dye,  and  then  put  the 
article  in  again,  working  it  about  till  it  shall  have  absorbed  the  colour 
from  the  water.  Fringes,  feathers,  and  ribbons,  all  of  which  fade  so 
readily,  can  easily  be  dyed  in  this  manner  in  ten  minutes." 

JUDSON'S  DYES — Sold  by  Chemists  and  Stationers. 




Now  ready,  the  New  Work  by  the  Author  of  *  Campaigning